The Sorrento Coast, in Italy, is a popular summer destination.
But even during the winter a holiday in Sorrento is wonderful.
The city is located in the center of the Sorrento Peninsula, just in front of the Island of Capri and is just a few minutes’ drive from the famous towns of the Amalfi Coast, such as Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, as well as Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
Sorrento is a well-known tourist destination during the warmer season, when visitors flock to this seaside town to enjoy beach days and delicious Italian cuisine.
However, the charm of the small town of Sorrento is palpable year-round.
In addition, there are many gastronomic specialties to taste, regardless of the outside temperature whether it is cold or mild.
There are obvious advantages to visiting cities in the low season: less traffic, fewer tourists, much lower prices and a better sense of what life is really like in the city as a local.
When the weather gets cold, this town of Campania is enchanting and proposes itself in a completely new way compared to the summer bubble, and reveals to guests its most authentic side.
Explore the city of Sorrento
Once settled in Sorrento, go out immediately and explore the city freely, taking all the most evocative corners. You have to walk on foot to get the feeling of how to better enjoy the winter in Sorrento.
The center of the town is small enough to be visited mostly on foot and there are many streets in the old town, mainly pedestrian. There are several local buses that cover the most interesting locations and also the taxi service is very efficient, although a bit expensive.
During your exploration, be sure to stroll through the characteristic squares of the city that represent the heart of Sorrento life.
Do not miss Piazza Tasso, named after the poet Torquato Tasso, located right in the center of Corso Italia, in the center of Sorrento. Stop at a local café for a drink, or an Italian aperitivo, relax and people-watch. In addition, the local tourist information center is nearby, in case you have doubts and questions to ask.
Another interesting square is Piazza della Vittoria, located along the road leading to Marina Grande, which is the Borgo dei Pescatori where you can eat fresh fish in the many characteristic restaurants.
This quiet square overlooks the sea and is composed of flower beds full of tall palm trees, around a tall sculpture. It’s a great place to stop and enjoy the beautiful panorama of Sorrento, overlooking the Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
In the evening, join the locals for a stroll along Corso Italia. Almost every evening the Sorrentines take a pleasant walk along the main pedestrian streets that cross the city, looking into the shop windows, talking with neighbors and admiring the Christmas decorations. Get the most out of your time in this charming city simply by doing as the locals do.
Correale Museum of Terranova
See art and learn history
The community of Sorrento predates ancient Rome and the city has been a favorite destination of writers and artists for centuries. Lord Byron, John Keats and Sir Walter Scott are among those who have spent time in the picturesque coastal town. Immerse yourself in local history and art by visiting the Correale Museum of Terranova. The museum is located in an ancient villa owned by the counts Pompeo and Alfredo Correale.
The villa is surrounded by gardens and a citrus grove, crossed by panoramic paths overlooking the Bay of Naples. The museum’s collections include paintings by Neapolitan artists dating mainly from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The collections also feature a variety of local sculptures, glassware, and clothing.
The Correale Museum of Terranova is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 to 18:30 and on Sundays from 9:30 to 13:30. The museum is closed on Mondays. The normal ticket price is 8 euros, with discounted prices for children and students. The museum is located in Via Correale 50, Sorrento.
Winter calm in Capri
Take a day trip to Capri
While you may not get to see the Blue Grotto, it’s still worth taking a day trip to the island of Capri during the winter (The Blue Grotto isn’t accessible to visitors when the sea is rough or the winds are strong).
Once a refuge for the Roman emperor Tiberius, today Capri is primarily an exclusive holiday destination. During the summer, the island is overrun with tourists and can feel more like an amusement park than a real community. During the colder months, however, the crowds are gone, and you can really see the island through the eyes of Capri.
How to get to Capri from Sorrento
From the tourist port of Sorrento (Marina Piccola) you have to take a ferry or hydrofoil to the main tourist port of Capri (Marina Grande). Ferries generally depart a couple of times an hour for the whole day (the last ferry is usually around 18:40, but just check the timetable when buying your ticket).
Tickets from Sorrento to Capri cost between 15 and 22 euros and the journey takes 20 to 30 minutes.
Once you reach Capri Island, visit soon the pretty town of Anacapri.
To get to Anacapri, you have to take a public bus from Marina Grande. Public buses on the island are small and carry only about 20 passengers. Tickets cost around 2.40 euros and the journey takes about 15 minutes.
In Anacapri, from Piazza Vittoria you can take the chairlift to the top of the island (Monte Solaro chairlift). The single-chair chairlift (which might be a bit creepy for those afraid of heights) transports you up Capri’s highest mountain, Monte Solaro.
From the top of the mountain, you have a magnificent view of the Amalfi and Sorrento coast on one side while the endless sea on the other.
Chairlift tickets cost 12 euros round trip.
Near the chairlift, there is the beautiful Villa Museo di San Michele.
After exploring the historic center of Anacapri, head to the main town of Capri.
See the main square, then choose a side street to stroll around and see what you find. There are many shops, boutiques, and restaurants, though, probably many will be closed for the winter break. Capri also offers many historical sites to see.
Gardens of Augustus If you’re still ready for some exploring, you can also walk to the opposite side of the island. There you will find some sea views, more enchanting, as well as the Gardens of Augustus (Gardens of Augustus). These public botanical gardens are full of beautiful vegetation and trails. It is a fantastic place to take a break and enjoy the view directly on the Faraglioni.
Once you’ve refueled exploring the legendary Island of Capri, it’s time to hop on the ferry back to Sorrento and savor the rest of your winter vacation.
How to get to Sorrento
As for the Italian coastal towns, it is easy to get to Sorrento. The easiest ways to get to Sorrento are by train or car.
Train: To take the train to Sorrento, you will arrive first in Naples. Trains from Rome (Roma Termini) to Naples (Napoli Centrale) vary – some take just over an hour and cost around 30 euros, while some take more than three hours and cost around 14 euros. These trains are operated by Trenitalia. From the main train station of Naples (Napoli Centrale), you must then take the local Circumvesuviana train to get to Sorrento. Sorrento is the last stop on the railway line. Trains leave every half hour and the journey takes about an hour. The Circumvesuviana station is located on the lower level of Naples train station, from where trains depart from platform three. It is not possible to buy tickets online in advance, so you must buy them when you arrive at the station. Tickets cost around 4 euros. As a regional service, the train is a bit slow and there is no luggage storage on the train. It is not the most luxurious option, but it is affordable and the least expensive.
Car: If you have rented a car, you can also drive to Sorrento. Driving around Italy’s small coastal towns isn’t generally relaxing (think winding roads overlooking the sea), but if you’re used to doing international road trips, this is an option for you. There are areas of Sorrento that are pedestrian-only, so coordinate with your hotel about where you’ll be parking.
Another way to get to Sorrento by car is to take a private car service. You can hire a car service yourself, or you can ask your hotel in Sorrento to recommend a company (going through your hotel is generally a good idea). This is the most expensive transport option but it is definitely the most comfortable. My favorite company is EuroLimo (www.EuroLimo.it).
Bus or ferry: In addition to taking the train or a car, you can also take a ferry to get to Sorrento. Ferries travel from Napoli Molo Beverello to the port of Sorrento.
Traveling by ferry might be a bit tricky in winter, depending on the weather and sea, but it’s a nice way to see the coast as you travel.
Where to stay in Sorrento: Sorrento is not a big city; So, most accommodation options are close to the center of local life. Where you decide to stay will depend on your group and budget. La Terrazza Family Holidays is the most welcoming holiday home on the Sorrento Coast. www.LaTerrazzaSorrento.com
As you might have noticed, just because the air is sparkling, doesn’t mean you should consider this southern Italian coastal city out of your travel plans.
There’s plenty to enjoy in Sorrento in winter – and plenty of limoncello to keep you warm.