Sorrento is the flagship of the peninsula that bears its name and is an enchanting destination to explore in every season. It has a small historical center closed off to traffic and is perfect for an urban trek to explore the churches, palaces, monuments and works of art located there.
Sorrento seen from Piazza Tasso
The historical center of Sorrento is a real pearl set in the homonymous peninsula that smells like lemons: it is small and the for the most part, it is closed off to traffic and well preserves its medieval features. It lends itself - in every season of the year - for a relaxing visit on foot for an urban trekking itinerary that will allows you to appreciate every cover and discover all its curiosities.
We choose Piazza Tasso as the starting point of our guided tour through the historical center of Sorrento. We are in the heart of the town - in the center of the square that bears the name of the great poet Tor-quato Tasso who is the illustrious son of Sorrento. He is honored by a statue that represents him, al-though it is located in a secluded location.
Those who wish to follow the path of Tasso will find the home of his sister Cornelia and the Tassiano Me-morial near Piazza Vittoria. Here you will also find the remains of the birthplace which are indicated by a marble inscription. It is located in one of the most picturesque corners of the town.
Sorrento - Birthplace of Torquato Tasso
Sorrento has a beautiful landscape and is considered a cultural gem. It has been loved over the centuries by illustrious and literary figures from all times: its historical center has hosted the likes of Goethe, Keats, Scott, Byron, Dickens, Wagner, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Croce, and several authors and performers of Neapoli-tan music that made songs like Torna a Surriento known all over the world.
If you linger a little longer in Piazza Tasso, you will find one of the many historical bars which are among the most popular tourist attractions, Here you can enjoy an aperitif and have a relaxing drink.
Historically this area was full of wash houses and meeting points for women in place of cafes and shops. These women came from the surrounding hills and descended to the river to do their laundry. Here, you are at the entrance of the Vallone dei Mulini whose ruins are still visible at the bottom of the hill.
The Vallone dei Mulini in Sorrento is among the most photographed places in the world, and is located in one of the five valleys that once crossed the Sorrento peninsula. Today it is inaccessible and uninhabited. The valley takes its name from an old mill dating back to the 10th century, although its geological origin is linked to a violent eruption of the Phlegraean Fields.
Returning to Sorrento - with its picture postcard historical center
From Piazza Tasso, just behind the statue of the poet, you will come across Via della Pietà. This is a histo-rical street and part of the ancient town plan of Sorrento. All along this street, it is possible to encounter some representative buildings of the medieval Sorrentine architecture such as: Palazzo Correale, ad-jacent to the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà; Palazzo Veniero; and the Loggia of Vico Galantario.
At the end of the street, the beautiful baroque Cathedral awaits you. Inside you can also admire a nativi-ty from the 1700s.
The Cathedral of Sorrentpo was built on the remains of an ancient Greek temple that overlooks Piazza del Vescovado. The upper part of the facade has a border decorated with battlements and a rosette in the center. The interior is laid out in a Latin cross format containing three naves that are separated by 14 pil-lars and a ceiling decorated with canvases depicting the Sorrento martyrs from the second century.
These works are by Francesco Francareccio and Oronzo, as well as Nicola Malinconico. On the right side you will find the baptismal font where Torquato Tasso was baptized in 1544. The bell tower which is detached from the church, rests on a Romanesque base and is decorated with columns, arches, cornices, niches and a clock that is made of ceramic tiles.
From the Duomo, our walk through the streets of Sorrento continues for a stretch over Corso Italia which is the most fashionable shopping street full of trendy shops, as well as traditional shops and delicacies to taste while taking a sip of the renowned Limoncello.
When you arrive at the end of the Corso, on the right you will cross Via San Cesareo which is one of the most characteristic streets of Sorrento. It is populated by artisan shops.
It is here that you can admire one of the ancient meeting places of the Sorrento nobility - the Sedil Domi-nova - which later became the seat of the Mutual Aid Society. It has a beautifu frescoed dome.
Sorrento in bloom - among villas and panoramic gardens
The Villa Comunale of Sorrento is a large terrace that overlooks the Gulf. It is the ideal panorama to take the photo-shoot that you can share on your social media networks!
From the breathtaking view below the tuff cliff, you can admire the coastal stretch where the so-called Marina Piccola of Sorrento extends and, a little further on, its port which is reachable by an elevator that is located directly in the Villa.
On your side you will see the beautiful Cloister of San Francesco which a treasure from the fourteenth century that is popular today to hold weddings.
The building is located near the church with the same name and dates back to the 14th century. It is cer-tainly one of the oldest monuments in Sorrento: a valuable construction which includes several different styles and architectural register and which incorporates remains from pagan temples and materials from ancient settlements. On the upper floors the cloister now houses art and photography exhibitions.
When you depart the cloister, you can finish your walk through Sorrento by taking a stroll around the Ho-tel Tramontano, and then return to Piazza della Vittoria. Here you will find yet another panoramic view that descends to Marina Grande while passing under the ancient gateway to the city.
Marina Grande is the fishing village of Sorrento. It is the point of arrival of our trek and where we can enjoy a dinner by the sea, which is fully seafood based. While you dine, you will be greeted by the lights that illuminate the bay at dusk.
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