The first and last time I visited Sorrento was in 1986. That’s 30 long years ago. I was young. I was full of energy. I was adventurous. And still am. 🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻Adventurous, I mean. 👌 I never forgot Sorrento. The fond memories come back each time I open that tiny music box I bought from there. It doesn’t play anymore. Not since the turn of the millennium so I gave away the box. But for many years since 1986, I had “moments” with that music box with a ballerina twirling round and round as the music played. Easy to get LSS’d with the song “Come Back to Sorrento”. Or should I say “Surriento” as the locals do? Whichever, listen to this.
Sorrento is a good home base or jump-off point for day trips to Capri, Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Salerno, Mt. Vesuvius, Positano and of course there’s that scenic Amalfi Coast drive along winding roads. The Bay of Naples spills out into the Mediterranean Sea on the West and counts many lovely coastal and port towns. Back in 1986, I stayed 2 nights in Sorrento and remember the craggy cliffs, the terraces looking out to Mount Vesuvius across the Bay of Naples, the cafes and shops clinging to the steep cliffs, the tiny boats and yachts bobbing up and down in the harbor, the fragrant lemon and orange trees lining the shopping streets of Piazza Tasso. That fragrance I remember to this day. Sniff!
Imagine yourself walking along those cliff terraces. The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is exactly that: GRAND. For a majestic view, you’d burn a big hole in your pocket. So I’d suggest staying elsewhere, and looking for a cafe bar for coffee or limoncello after a good stroll. Shopping is good in Sorrento. Apart from clothes and leather products, there’s a chockful of artisan shops in this little coastal town. Sorrento has a vibrant inlaid woodworking industry. The music box I bought here 30 years ago was quite a gem. You can say the locals have perfected the craft. And unlike the shopping to be had in Florence or Venice or Rome, one is charmed with the almost laid-back lifestyle here. No pushy vendors. (They all seem so cheerful!) Everything at a leisurely pace. Must be the lemons!
On your way back to Rome from Sorrento, try to resist napping away the 3 hour drive. Enjoy the view once more, at least for the next half hour — the Amalfi coast really takes the cake here. Have a look. Savor the scenery. Truly, why the bad rap on lemons? The orange and lemon groves here are Nature’s gifts, the aroma quite a pleasure. There are rest stops and viewpoints. Stop. ❤️