Sorrento is a small town of roughly 16,500 inhabitants located along the Bay of Naples in the Campania Region of Italy. Situated between green hills and blue seas, Sorrento is a popular tourist destination in Southern Italy. The city’s origin is uncertain but its old name "Surrentum" has been linked to the legend of the sirens, creatures of Greek mythology referenced in Homer’s The Odyssey, whose song lured sailors to their deaths on the rocks surrounding their island.
The urban layout of the town, divided into insulae with crossroads, is reminiscent of the Greek Hippodamus of Miletus. But certain incongruities with the classic layout of Hippodamus would suggest that the town plan was designed by a Roman hand. The ruins of Roman villas dotting the coast, archaeological findings held in the museums and constant new discoveries confirm that Surrentum was the preferred home to Roman patricians. After the heyday of the Roman Empire, the town, which in 1544 was to become birthplace of the bard Torquato Tasso, was formally administered by the Byzantine emperor, maintaining its independence.
From the Mediaeval Period to modern times, it has been conquered by the Normans, Angevins, Aragonese and Spanish. Visible signs of these cultural invasions are still evident in the religious and civil architecture of the town. Later in the 1800s, tourism, inlaid woodwork and embroidery were to become the new economic activities. Between the pre- and post-revolution transformations of 1799 and the events leading to the unification of Italy, Sorrento was a preferred resort of the European aristocracy. The charm of Sorrento and its people, the mildness of its climate and the magic of its landscapes continue to attract visitors from all over the world.
Sorrento is a small city in Italy with a population of 16,500. It is a popular tourist destination that overlooks the Bay of Naples that can be reached by train, ferry boat or hydrofoil. Sorrento is famous for its agricultural products - citrus fruit, wine, nuts and olives – and the wood craftsmanship.
Sorrento’s climate is mild in the winter and very warm in the summer. The average weather conditions in September are:
79°F / 26°C
59°F / 15°C
3.20 in. / 81.3 mm
The currency in Italy is the Euro. If you need to exchange currency, you can do so at the bank or post office. There are seven different banknotes: Euro 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. The coins, on the other hand, come in eight different sizes, two Euro coins (Euro 1 and Euro 2) and six different cent coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents). Using credit cards to withdraw money is easy. You can find numerous ‘bancomat’ cashpoints throughout Italy. Credit cards can also be used to pay directly in hotels, restaurants, shops and supermarkets.
Those who are not residents of the European Union who spend more than €155 while shopping in Italy can ask for a VAT refund (19%) on departure. The refund only applies to purchases made in the circuit of shops displaying the “tax free for tourists” sign in the window. You will need to fill in a form at the time of purchase and have it endorsed by Italian customs on departure. The refund can be obtained in all the main airports or credited directly onto your credit card.
Electricity in Italy is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC). If you plan on using your own 110-volt appliances, you will need a voltage converter, unless your appliance is designed to also work with 220 volts electricity (dual voltage). For example, most laptops and some electric shavers are designed to work both at 110 and 220 volts. Make sure to check your appliances before you leave and travel prepared. Plugging in an appliance that is not designed to run on 220 volts electricity without using a voltage converter will most likely kill it.
Capodichino airport is situated northeast of Naples, 50 km away from Sorrento. Curreri buses leave every day to Sorrento. Private transfer and cab services are also available from the airport at a price between 70-100 Euros. Buses, cabs and transfer services link the airport to the Circumvesuviana station in Naples, as well.
Trains from the main Italian cities arrive in Naples National Railway Station "Centrale Piazza Garibaldi"; from here local Circumvesuviana trains run daily to Sorrento every 20-30 minutes. The journey is about one hour and no reservation is required. Tickets cost around 3,10 Euros and they are available at the station and in many area shops.
- From North, through the A/2 Milan-Naples highway, continuing on the A/3 Naples-Salerno until Castellammare di Stabia exit;
- From East, through the A/16 Bari-Naples highway, driving into the A/3 Naples–Salerno and carrying on until the Castellammare di Stabia exit/way out;
- From South, through the A/3 Reggio Calabria–Salerno highway towards Napoli, until Castellammare di Stabia exit/way out.
Once through Castellammare di Stabia SS 145 exit, carry on for about 23 km through the localities situated along the way to Sorrento (Vico Equense, Meta, Piano di Sorrento e Sant’Agnello). Sorrento is only 48 km from Naples and the journey lasts around 1 hour (when the traffic is not heavy).
Curreri bus transports depart from the "ARRIVAL" zone in Capodichino Airport, running daily to Sorrento. The ticket costs about 6 Euros and the journey lasts around 1 hour and 15 minutes. From the Tiburtina Station in Rome, Marozzi buses run daily to Sorrento. There is also a bus service that connects city of Assisi to Sorrento.
Hydrofoils and ferry-boats sail to Sorrento from Beverello quay in Naples (near Municipio Square). The journey is about 40 minutes, is much more comfortable, and costs about 9,00 Euro. The berth is in Sorrento docks, 500 m from the city centre. A shuttle service runs every 10 minutes to the main square Torquato Tasso.
There is a local train, the Circumvesuviana, which runs from Naples to Sorrento. It makes many stops along the way and takes approximately 1 1/2 hours to get from Naples to Sorrento.
A hydrofoil ferry service runs from Sorrento to several points:
Sorrento to Capri, every 30 minutes in the morning and evening, once an hour mid-day
Sorrento to Naples, every two hours or so
Sorrento to Ischia, one direct run in the morning, returning late afternoon
Sorrento to Amalfi, once a day direct at odd times
Sorrento to Positano, twice a day direct at odd times
CARABINIERI POLICE HEADQUARTERS
Sorrento 0818073111 – 0818781010
The European Union introduced 112 as the only emergency number for all member states, with the very aim of facilitating tourists and foreign citizens in general in their movements within the continent. For this very reason, a foreign language response service is also available if you dial this number.
This is the national helpline for all emergencies - robberies, thefts or assaults, accidents and also health emergencies. This number corresponds to the network of State Police operating centres and it is active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In the event of fire, smoke or gas leaks, call the Fire Brigade, which is present all over Italy and also provides rapid response in the event of earthquakes or other disasters.
Sorrento - S. Agnello 0815331111
For an ambulance, just dial 118 from any phone, public or private, anywhere on the peninsula (including the islands). The ambulance network will transport you to the nearest hospital or health facility. A helicopter ambulance service is also available to get to more remote or inaccessible locations.
For emergency treatment, you can go directly to the pronto soccorso casualty department, which you will find in each public hospital. A network of operating stations of the various law enforcement forces and emergency centres links up all the police forces, bodies and agencies into a single system, to answer emergency calls made anywhere in Italy.
This is the number to dial for roadside assistance, if your engine breaks down or in the event of another problem with your car that prevents you from traveling. When you dial this number, a distress call will be routed to the nearest ACI (the Italian Automobile Association) office, which will send out mechanics to repair or if necessary tow your car. The service is available 24 hours a day, but it is not free of charge, although ACI members are entitled to large discounts.
Other Numbers and Information:
British Air 8488/12266
Uff. Loc. Mar.mo 0818073071
Ferr. Stato 848888088
Travel Information 1518
Sorrento - Piazza Tasso 0818073317
Museums in Sorrento
MUSEO CORREALE DI TERRANOVA
SORRENTO - Tel. 0818781846
Monday - Sunday: 9 - 14
Closed on Tuesday
MUSEO ARCHEOLOGICO GEORGES VALLET
PIANO DI SORRENTO Tel. 0815341050
Tuesday - Sunday: 9-13 e 16-19
Closed on Monday
MUSEUUM WORKSHOP OF WOODEN TARSIA
SORRENTO Tel. 0818771942
Tuesday - Sunday: 9.30/13 - 17/20
Closed on Monday
VICOEQUENSE - Tel. 0818015668
Tuesday - Saturday: 9 - 13 e 17 - 20
Holidays: 9 - 13 - Closed on Monday
Tours of local sites are also available. Please contact Erreci for tour information.