Sorrento

Sorrento is the practical traveler’s paradise. Located on a train, bus, and ferry route that connects it with the Amalfi Coast’s other cities, Sorrento makes dazzling, high-cliffed Bay of Naples beauty easily accessible. While many travelers use Sorrento as a springboard for day trips, its mix of paved streets and urban grit with shopping and beach bumming—the epitome of leisure—make it worth exploring in its own right. Before hopping on that train to more serene destinations, kick back with a glass of limoncello (as common as water here) and a cono of mint gelato for some daytime relaxation. Don’t forget your heels, though—staying out into the wee hours of the morning is as popular with Sorrento’s crowds.

Sights

CAPO DI SORRENTOOld Roman Ruins and Queen Giovanna Baths For a break from the tourist crowds and crowded beaches near the centro, head down Corso Italia (main road) to the Capo di Sorrento, a small protrusion of beach and cliff off the otherwise flat coast. Either walk 30min. up the paved Via Capo, passing mostly hotels and greenery, or take the EAVBUS A line. When you reach Calata di Punta del Capo 8in that area you’ll find the Villa Igea Hotel and a gasoline station), head right down the steep cobblestone road which eventually becomes soil and winds to the coast. Near the base, you’ll pass a small sign marking the Ruins of Villa di Pollio Felice. They truly are ruins—without the post, you would barely know they existed. Continue on past the few crumbling arches and make the steep descent to an aquamarine pool of water which will most likely be occupied by swimmers, though far fewer than fill Sorrento’s main beaches. A short walk further leads to flat rocks and more water, where a family-heavy crowd switches off between sunbathing and swimming.

ST.FRANCIS CHURCH AND CLOISTER

Sorrento is a town which, in addition to the breathtaking panorama on the Gulf of Naples, and scenic beauty, is rich in churches, monuments and museums of historic-artistic interest.
A few steps from the villa comunale of Sorrento lies the complex of the convent of San Francesco of Assisi church compound, monastery and cloister.
The Church, built in the 14th century, is made mainly in the Baroque style and is full of stucco: the white marble facade was built in 1926 and the portal dates back to the 16th century. It houses, besides various and interesting elements from pagan temples, two frescoes, emerged from the restoration in 1926 and a wooden statue of St. Francesco with the crucified Christ, donated by the Vulcano  family in the 17th century. In front of  the wooden door of the 1500 in 1992 was placed a bronze statue of Saint Francis, created by the  skilled hands of the sculptor Alfiero Nena.
The monastery dates back to the 8th century and is still today inhabited by Franciscan friars.
The cloister of San Francesco, rectangular in shape , is a hybrid of styles, still visible are the 14th and 16th-century influences: present are infact crossed pumice  arches on two sides of the portico dating back to the 300 while on the remaining sides are arcs with octagonal pillars characteristic of the 16th century.
On the capitals of the pillars is the coat of arms of the Sersale family that financed the work. The refectory, inside the Cloister, still keeps intact its 14th century structure.
The Cloister has  now been for a  few years the splendid location where the musical events of the summer take place and increasingly frequent marriages of foreigners who choose Sorrento to Crown their dream of love.