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Perched high above the gulf of Naples sits Sorrento, a beautiful Italian town famous for its views and for its lemons. If you only have one day in Sorrento, you will want to make sure that you plan ahead so that you are able to truly experience all it has to offer! While one day in Sorrento doesn’t seem like much, it will give you a taste of why this region is so popular amongst tourists.
What to Do & See in Sorrento
No matter where you stay in Sorrento, you will probably want to start your day in the historical center of town. You can easily reach many of Sorrento’s sights on foot, just take your time walking the narrow cobblestone streets so that you don’t miss things hidden off the beaten path. You just never know what you might see!
One of the spectacular spots you won’t want to miss is Villa Comunale, the largest pubic park in Sorrento. From this spot, you can see the Bay of Naples, Capri and Mount Vesuvius. While this park gives optimal shade, you are only a few (I say this sarcastically) from Marina Piccola and bathing platforms. Not quite ready for the walk down? No worries, there is a lift.
Tucked away between souvenir shops in a narrow cobblestone street behind Sorrento’s main square is Sedile Dominova, an ancient meeting place for medieval noble to meet and discuss things like current affairs and politics. This tradition stems from the Middle Ages and was strictly for men only. Adorning the walls are frescoes that date back to the 18th century.
There are many churches in town, but if you only have one day in Sorrento, be sure to see the Cathedral of Sorrento. Situated on the Corso Italia, the main street in Sorrento, you can’t help but notice it due to the tall clock tower. While the exterior of the church is lovely, the interior has beautiful frescoes with a magnificent alter.
On your travels through Italy, you will want to go home with a few souvenirs. Sorrento’s cobblestone streets are filled with all different types of shops and I believe it has some of the best shopping in all of southern Italy. Head over to Corso Italia, the main road through town. You’ll find beautiful ceramics, lemon themed goodies and even leather goods. Feel free to bargain with the sellers!
What to Eat in Sorrento
If you have been to Italy, you know how good the food is. Everything is fresh and plentiful. This region is known for a few different things, but lemons are their staple. There are markets in Sorrento where you can find lemons the size of oranges! If you only have one day in Sorrento, be sure to have at least one meal at one of the many wonderful cafes and outdoor eateries serving the freshest Italian food featuring local ingredients.
If you have the opportunity and want a truly authentic Italian experience, be sure to venture just outside the city streets to visit a local farm. There you might learn how mozzarella is made and how they take those beautiful lemons and make them Limoncello (recipe at bottom of post)!
Of course, if you are in Italy, you will want to treat yourself to Gelato and you will find you fair share of Italian ice creams everywhere you turn! There are many flavors to try, but in Sorrento, you really should have at least one scoop of Lemon!
When you have more than one day in Sorrento
If you happen to have more than a day in Sorrento, we would encourage you to make the day trip to Pompeii and Naples where you can see ancient ruins dating back to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.
Another popular day trip from Sorrento is to Capri. Take a boat to Capri and you will be able to have a totally different perspective of the region. Many boats will take you to some fabulous caves and grottos where you can explore and also give you access to snorkeling and beaches.
How to Make Limoncello
- 15 organic (because they aren’t waxed) meyer lemons with a thick peel
- 2 x 750 ml pure grain alcohol or strong vodka (100 proof)
- 4 cups of white sugar
- 5 cups of water
Wash lemons and then dry with towel. Use a lemon stripper to remove the rind into long pieces (not grated). Place the strips of 7 lemon rind into 750ml of Alcohol. Limoncello must be placed in a dark spot (like a pantry closet) and allowed to develop at room temperature for 40 days.
After approximately 40 days, you will then prepare a simple syrup mixture by mixing the water and sugar together in a pot on the stove. Allow the mixture to come to a boil for about 5 minutes. You should notice that the mixture thickens into the consistency of a syrup. Allow to cool completely and refrigerate for a hour. When the syrup is cold, add it to the alcohol and lemon rind mixture and then add in the remaining alcohol (750ml). Allow to rest for another 40 days.
After 80 days, use a cheese cloth or coffee filter to filter the mixture and pour it into smaller bottles (and give to your friends!). Limoncello can be kept in the freezer for at least a year.