5 Top Things To Do in Sorrento Italy
1. A Spritz on the Square
Wine is fine and hooray for beer but if you want to drink like the locals, have a spritz. Spend aperativo time (Italian happy hour) in the main square Piazza Tasso while sipping the bright orange sparkling concoction made from Aperol, prosecco and a splash of soda. The idea behind the Italian aperitivo meaning “to open”, is to quench your thirst and get your mouth watering for dinner. The spritz took off in the 1950’s and remains to be the beverage of choice, especially in Venice. You can of course, make it with Campari-just a bit more bitter tasting. So after a long day at the beach or shopping, grab a spot at one of square’s many cafe’s for a spritz and the best people watching. Bonus: traditionally, complimentary nuts, olives, crisps or even canapés are served along side.
2. Eat Your Way Through Sorrento
A great way to learn about a city is through its food and people. Sorrento Food Tours take you on a 3 hour walking tour of the city center, visiting local, family owned establishments to taste regional specialities of the Campania region. Come hungry and thirsty as you will taste everything from typical street food to Napolitan specialties such as, arancini, sfogliatelle, buffalo mozzarella, limoncello (including a walk through the lemon grove and see how it’s made), artisanal beer and a sit down lunch with gnocchi Sorrentina and local vino! You’ll get a great overview of the town and learn of more great eateries, so book at the beginning of your stay. Visit Sorrento Food Tours www.sorrentofoodtours.com
3. Basilica di Sant’ Antonino
Sorrento has many beautiful churches and an amazing cathedral but one not to be missed is the Basilica of Sant’Antonino. Being the patron saint of Sorrento, seafarer’s and sailors it’s not surprising that Sant’ Antonino has is own piazza and church granted with special privileges by the pope. Don’t let the unassuming Romanesque style facade deter you from entering the three nave fresco filled chapel. The lower level contains his tomb and a large collection of silver miracle gratitude offerings on display. The La Festa di Sant’ Antonino, Festival of St. Anthony is celebrated each year by the entire town on February 14th with a precession, music, street vendors and fireworks. It’s also St. Valentine’s Day but in Sorrento, Sant’ Antonino reigns supreme.
4. Hop over to Naples
Catch a hydrofoil to Napoli, home of the Napolitan pizza. In 1889 the Pizza Margherita was created for the visiting Queen Margherita. Check out pizzeria 50 Kaló di Ciro Salvo for the classics, like Margherita or Marinara or their specialty fried pizza crust…yes fried…yet light and crispy. Heat seekers will enjoy the “Nduja di Spilinga” topped with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and nduja-a spicy spreadable pork sausage made with Calabrian chilies. There are dozens of pizzerias to choose from, Sorbillo, Ettore, Di Matteo, Da Michele…so many pizzas and so little time. Visit the National Archaeological Museum of Naples where many of the relics from Pompeii and Herculaneum are on display. For the more adventurous and not claustrophobic, take a fascinating underground tour of the Bourbon Tunnels with remnants from World War II.
5. Sun & Sand
Spend the afternoon at the beach, a favorite thing to do among the locals. The beaches on the Sorrento Peninsula are more pebbly and a mix of dark to black sand thanks to Mt. Vesuvius. You can rent a chaise and umbrella on the beach or the stone wall breakers that usually have steps to enter the crystal clear waters. Relax and soak up the rays at Leonelli’s Beach near Marina Piccola. For more seclusion and a bit of trek, pack a picnic and take a dip at Bagni della Regina Giovanna, a half hour or so east of Sorrento.