sorrento lemons

A few hours in Sorrento

Here’s what you can do with a few hours in Sorrento

Sorrento, while not “the real Amalfi Coast”, makes for a pretty and tourist friendly base for the region. Since we were passing through, I wanted to spend at least a few hours to experience it for myself. After dropping our bags off at a luggage storage spot at the train station, we had a few hours in Sorrento.

Arrival in Sorrento

We arrived via the ferry from Capri around 11am. This coincided with the hordes of Sorrento visitors trying to escape over to Capri and I was happy to be heading in the opposite direction. The town centre was relatively quiet at this time of the morning, but that only last about an hour or so.

With 4 hours to explore, we had enough time to get a taste of the town centre, eat lunch and still manage to arrive in the late afternoon in Naples.

During our short time in Sorrento we:

  • Bought a ticket to Naples on the Campania Express from the kiosk at the train station and left our bags at the left luggage next door
  • People watched from our front row seat at Fauno Bar while sipping on a cappuccino
  • Strolled through Sorrento’s maze of alleyways and along Corso Italia
  • Popped in to admire the architecture and art in the Cattedrale di Sorrento
  • Smelled about 1,000 different soaps, candles, candies and other miscellaneous items all smelling like lemon
  • Had a lovely lunch, including spaghetti alle vongole (baby clam spaghetti), at La Lanterna Sorrento
  • Wandered down to Piazza della Vittoria with views of Vesuvius and Sorrento’s ‘beach’

But first, coffee!

The first stop was a coffee at Fauna Bar in central Sorrento. I could have stayed here for hours, but we needed to get out and explore.

Bar Fauna Sorrento
Cappuccino and a view please! Sipping some coffee at Bar Fauna

Sorrento’s main street

Corso Italia is Sorrento’s main street and is lined with shops. It makes for a lovely stroll, more people watching and window shopping.

Strolling the Corso italia
Strolling the Corso italia

Time for lunch!

Lunch was at a restaurant with tables in the alleyway allowing us to soak up the fresh air of Sorrento’s town centre. The meal was big enough we probably could have shared it!

Spaghetti Alle Vongole at La Lanterna Restaurant
Spaghetti Alle Vongole at La Lanterna Restaurant. Quite possibly enough for two people

Sorrento’s Cathedral

An visit to an Italian town is not complete until you visit the elaborately decorated cathedral and Sorrento is no exception.

Inside the stunning Sorrento Cathedral
Inside the stunning Sorrento Cathedral

Lemon Everything!

If you like lemons, you’re going to love Sorrento. You can get lemon scented or flavoured pretty much everything.

lemon candy in sorrento
If you like lemon scented stuff, this is the place for you

Sorrento Ocean views

While not really a place for laying on the beach, visitors and residents of Sorrento make it work, by suntanning on the concrete slabs acting as a beach front!

Sorrento's beach area
Sorrento’s beach area, mostly filled with ladies tanning on the concrete jetty. Once again, it’s not my idea of a beach, but you take what you can get!

First impressions after a few hours in Sorrento

With just a few hours wandering the main tourist area in Sorrento, I can see its appeal for so many people. Would I base myself here when visiting the area? I don’t think so, since it is a fair distance from the Amalfi Coast and the town didn’t have the real authentic Italian town vibe that I’ve found in a lot of other places.

For a large number of tourists wanting to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum it would make a good base, being a much easier town to navigate compared to the big city of Naples. Which is where we were heading next …

Leaving Sorrento

Our departure from Sorrento should have been pretty straightforward having already purchased our tickets. The Campania Express is an express train between Sorrento and Naples, which stops at a few tourist stops, mainly at Pompeii and Herculaneum (Ercolano). Unfortunately on the day we were taking the train, there was a train painted “La Campania Express” but it was on track 4. The train information signs said it would leave from track 1. I even asked one of the train workers if we should wait on track 1 or go to track 4 and he suggested to go to track 4. We boarded the train and it was full of locals and students which didn’t seem right since the Campania Express was double the price of a normal ticket. Just before the train on track 4 started to leave we jumped off, with lots of confused tourists lugging giant suitcases.

Come to find out the train would arrive on track 1 but about 30 minutes late. Once we were onboard, it was a comfortable journey due to the lack of other travellers onboard, but a bit awkward. Every time we’d stop at a station, there were people wanting to get on the train, but a train worker would hop out and explain that they needed a special ticket to get on the train. Cue lots of angry train passengers not understanding why this train was so special!

Well past our scheduled arrival time, we finally arrived in the grand city of Napoli.

To continuing reading about our time in Naples, click here.

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