On the South of Italy, there’s an amazing cliffside town where you can smell the fruits in the air. Where you’ll always walk under orange trees, and lemon trees. A town called Sorrento. In the region of Campania, this town was built on the top of the cliffs of the Sorrentine peninsula. A charming Italian lemon town. In this post, you’ll learn about my first time in Sorrento, Italy, on one of the best trips to Italy I’ve ever had.
In the summer of 2018, I went on a solo trip in this area, to finally dig a little bit more into the region of Campania. My itinerary included a night in Rome, one in Naples, and four nights in Sorrento.
From Naples to Sorrento I’ve traveled by ferry boat, as that’s the easiest way if you’re not having your own car. I really, really loved the boat trip, as I got to see the Vesuv volcano from the sea. Indeed a fabulous view that was! However, each and every time I got on that boat, I’ve been terrified. Since I was a child, I always had this thing with deep waters…
But to see the volcano and the Sorreintine peninsula from the boat was worth everything! Just like a dream…
When I first saw on the horizon the cliffs of Sorrento, my heart got filled with joy, and a huge smile just got stuck on my face. I couldn’t believe I made it to Sorrento, finally!
When we arrived at the port, I noticed that there was a 50-meter-high cliff between the port and the town. To be fair, I wasn’t really up for a hike in the middle of a hot summer day, but thankfully I didn’t have to!
First hours in Sorrento, Italy
The first thing I did though was still a quick panic attack of course. I’d spent the previous two days walking all day on the cobbled streets of Rome and Naples, and my feet were destroyed.
Seconds after I calmed down, I noticed the taxis, and I ran to jump into one.
About those cobbled streets… I wrote an article about 8 Don’ts when visiting Rome, where I explained, how important is to wear comfortable shoes in these Italian cities, and I ignored my own suggestion. Check out the article and make sure you’re not following my mistake!
While the cab was taking me to my accommodation at Il Roseto, my accommodation for the first two nights, we started to chat with the driver.
I’ve been learning Italian since 2015, but in a complete autodidact way, so it took some time to get to a fluent level. The driver asked how I learned the language? He asked if I was studying or working in Italy?
So, I told him my story about my love for Italy…
He told me that it’s rare for someone who isn’t living there, to just learn the language, because why not? I don’t know what to say about this…
Did any of you ever learn a language just because you fall in love with a country? I’d love to hear your story in the comment section!
Now, back to Sorrento, Italy!
On the way, on Corso Italia, I noticed something beautiful. This made me fall in love straight away with Sorrento! I mentioned those lemon trees, remember? Now on this street, you can walk a long way under orange and lemon trees! Those famous lemon trees of Sorrento!
I’m not sure why I am so obsessed with places where you can find orange trees or lemon trees on the streets but here’s the thing… Orange is my favorite color. My favorite park in Rome is the Orange Park on Aventino Hill. Also, my favorite city in Spain for example, is Seville, the city of oranges. Seville has more than 25,000 orange trees!
So, yes, I definitely have some kind of obsession…
Il Roseto, and first evening in Sorrento
For the first 3 days, I was staying in a small, budget resort called Il Roseto. It’s a lovely place if you’re seeking some time off near the pool without crowds. The rooms were lovely, some having their private terrace as well.
To be honest, it took me just 10 minutes after I occupied my room to get ready and head straight to the pool! There was a small pool bar as well, which was a lifesaver as I was dying for an Aperol Spritz!
I also had at this place, the best Caprese salad of my life! It was made with organic local tomatoes, and the Sorrentine tomatoes are worldwide famous! Also, with fresh mozzarella from a local farm. It was absolutely delicious!!!
That day, I felt no remorse to spend the whole day near the pool… I haven’t been on a relaxing holiday for years and I really wanted to just DO NOTHING finally! There’s a perfect saying for this in Italian by the way!
Dolce far niente!
First evening in Sorrento
In the evening, I was all ready for my favorite part of the day in Italy, dinner time!
I walked back to the town center, and I went to find this beautiful park, Villa Communale, where you can watch the sunset. Along the walking path, there are plenty of bars with outdoor tables, to grab a drink while enjoying the view!
When the sun was down, I finally went to find my dinner spot.
I made a bad choice on the first night, as I picked a really touristy restaurant, and I also ordered pasta al ragu that wasn’t really a local specialty and wasn’t good at all. So much about my big knowledge about Italy… Anyhow, you must remember this: Always look up the local dishes, and go for those! That way, you’ll always have the most amazing food experience!
That evening I felt a little bit annoyed and disappointed, and also lonely. While I was walking back to Il Roseto, way too early I may add, I was trying to get rid of the negative thoughts. I was so concentrated, that I passed a fantastic pub, and I didn’t notice the fabulous voice of the artists performing there!
The music reached my mind when I was 20 meters away. I stopped for a second and hesitated… Then I thought, I either go back to my room and watch tv, sad, thinking why I came alone here? Or I can just turn around, sit at the bar, have a drink, and listen to the music. I picked the second option!
When you have no expectations…
Something amazing happened there! Outside, on the terrace, there were just 8 small tables. The singer girl came out there to sing, the waiter was dancing, and everybody was singing together and dancing around the tables. How foolish I would’ve been if I decide to go home, and miss this…
After a couple of hours of singing and great vibes, I felt so great, that I never again thought about being alone it is bad. It wasn’t bad! It was amazing!
Traveling alone is always challenging. It can challenge you in so many ways you can’t even imagine! Everywhere you go, something new awaits, something different. You just have to learn to adjust quickly and keep things under control. But most importantly, you must let go of your fears and enjoy every moment! Check my 30 reasons why I think traveling alone is amazing!
Second days, second chances
On my second day, I went to the center more prepared. This time I looked up in advance some family-owned restaurants. I really love these places, when the father is the owner, maybe also the chef, the mother, the kids, the whole family work together in one place. This isn’t a rare phenomenon in Italy, especially down South. You can find numerous places like this!
Ristorante S. Antonino, Sorrento
In the heart of Sorrento, you can find this place on Via Santa Maria delle Grazie, nr. 6. They have a big rooftop terrace, and the atmosphere was amazing! They had a duo singing the most popular old and new Italian songs during dinner time.
And the pizza, the pizza was fantastic!
I love pizza, and there isn’t really any place on this earth where I traveled and left without eating at least one slice of pizza! But I have never had one as great, as delicious, as perfect as this pizza is Sorrento!
Basically, it’s a Neapolitan restaurant, which means they have their own Neapolitan cooking and baking traditions. This tradition is saying, that:
A pizza should be baked and ready to serve in 90 seconds!
This is the secret behind obtaining a golden color, while the pizza still remains soft, and the sauce juicy. This is the reason why Italians don’t use ketchup or any other sauce on their pizza. It’s no point to use it when the fresh homemade tomato sauce is still juicy when serving the pizza.
Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that it’s no way to compare a homemade fresh sauce to one from the store! Also, at San Antonino restaurant, they have average prices, nothing too expensive, so it’s a perfect place for everyone looking for a great restaurant with traditional Italian dishes!
Amazing view and best beaches in Sorrento
As I mentioned, I went on my first evening to watch the sunset from Villa Comunale. This park is located in the city center, on the side of the cliffs. Near those breathtaking sunsets, you can also see the Vesuv volcano from here!
There are two ways to get down to the seaside and the beaches. You can either choose the elevator which costs €1,00 one way. Either, you can walk down the stairs, along with the caves of the cliffside. This is really, really worth doing! Honestly, it’s so beautiful, and it’s perfectly safe as well!
There are two main beaches you can go to. The Marina Piccola, and the Marina Grande. Both beautiful!
Accommodation on my last 2 days and night out in Sorrento
English Inn & Hotel Tourist
For the last two nights, I was staying in Hotel Tourist *** as it was closer to the town center. I was planning to stay out longer in the night, and I didn’t fancy walking 20 mins to get to my bed.
At Villa Comunale on my first evening, I met a few Americans while I asked them to take me a picture. We found the common interest very fast. so we were chatting a little bit there.
On my 3rd night, I remembered I’ve got the email address of one of them, si I check what they’re up to? They told me to head to the English Inn, as they were going there too.
This is a great pub right in the center of the town. It’s visited mostly by young travelers, so you can also prepare for some dancing! They have a large back garden, with a bar, an open-air dancefloor, and DJs over the weekend! The perfect safe spot also to connect with other travelers!
A couple of minutes after I got there, I found my new American friends, and we just got lost between big theories, great music, the vibrant Italian night, and cold drinks.
And finally about Sorrento, Italy
While looking back on this adventure in Sorrento, all I can say is that I can’t wait to be back again! It’s an amazing, charming, friendly, authentic, and very pulsating place to choose for a summer getaway! The perfect lemon town! Also, check our articles for gyms in Sorrento, restaurants, and places to stay in Sorrento!
Now to recap what I discovered, and give you some tips for your trip to Sorrento, here are some highlights!
- For a relaxing vacation on a budget: Il Roseto resort.
- A traditional, friendly, family-friendly restaurant with amazing dishes: Ristorante San Antonino
- Budget hotel with swimming pool 5 minutes away from the town center: Hotel Tourist
- Pub with live music and a great atmosphere: Golden Silver Pub
- For youth night out: English Inn
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