When I’m writing this post it is snowing here and outside my window everything is white and peaceful. And it’s really hard to believe that there are places like Sorrento: full of sun, warm, noise and energy. No doubt Sorrento is one of the top holiday destinations in Italy. It gives you everything what traditional holiday is about: the sun, the sea and the exceptional traditional food. Yes, you can also pay a lot of money for fake products but if you make a little effort you can spend wonderful holiday of a lifetime.
In 1997, the Amalfi Coast was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a cultural landscape.
Sorrento – a small town in Campania with breathtaking views on Vesuvio and Napoli - is accessible by local train called Circumvesuviana so think twice before you go there by car. You might be less comfortable and less flexible BUT taking into account narrow streets, limited parking place and crazy traffic it might be a good idea to use a public transportation. Make sure that your hotel PROVIDES a parking place for the guests, otherwise you get totally fed up with searching-for-a-parking-place routine. And you wish to escape from your everyday routine, right? It might be quite enjoyable to rent a scooter instead of using car. Think about it and ask in a hotel for the nearest rental office.
Regarding the best season to visit Sorrento I would strongly recommend late April, May and beginning of June in the summer and late September in the autumn. If you are not a fan of the sea and sun baths you can come to Sorrento in October and it is still mild and warm. Forget about the beach with white sand! You will find wild cliffs and rocks instead. If you consider paying additional fee for the sea view I would say: YES! Off season you might even have it without additional fee but in any case the view on Golfo di Napoli in early morning and late evening is priceless.
I went to Sorrento in early May and it was around +25 degrees and even though it might seam to be cool the sun in southern Italy burns. It was warm and sunny enough to stay at the beach or the swimming pool. I stayed in a charming hotel named Mediterraneo Sorrento which I can recommend. It is located in marvelous place with stunning views. Just outside the hotel there is a terrace from where you can observe the bay. The hotel has its beach down at the sea level and you need to take elevator (sic!) or stairs. I found it most unusual but got fascinated with the views of wild cliffs and ample nature around. The hotel has also its own swimming pool in a backyard (with a bar;-). It’s absolutely lovely to spend evenings in the garden with big lemon and orange trees above your head. Dinner eaten at the roof level with spectacular views of the sun at dusk was always a perfect conclusion of each day.
Sorrento and other small towns at the Costiera Amalfitana despite being a popular touristic destination keep the atmosphere of small villages. Even though the infrastructure is relatively well developed you can still sense this climate.
I got friendly with a cleaning lady in a hotel and she told me amazing stories about the local affairs: about the weddings in a nearby church, flowers brought for this occasion just before the ceremony (because of the heat the flowers are kept in a cool place to the very last moment), towns around, local feasts and she even told me a story of her family. She advised me where to buy the best limoncella and other local stuff. For me it was great to learn the stories told with a particular southern accent. This lady was just like from an old movie, with her gesture, voice and laugh. It was a short moment of getting insight into her reality, like if she opened a box with precious jewelry inside. Her life totally depends on the tourists who arrive to Sorrento and she told me that although the job is not the easiest one she is quite content that she didn’t have to leave her homeland for the job. This was stunning that she meets people from all over the world without even moving 10km from home!
It was truly memorable time, filled with simplicity. Let me say it in Italian: INDIMENTICABILE!