Sorrento, beyond the limoncello
To speak of Sorrento is to do it, inevitably, of his lemons with D.O. Thanks to them, it has become one of the world's cradles of limoncello manufacturing. But do you know everything that hides this small town on the west coast of Italy? We discover Sorrento beyond the limoncello.
A small but essential city © iStock
If Sorrento is known for something, it is for its magic, for its irresistible attraction, for the kindness of its people, the beauty of their lands and the exquisiteness of their products. Almost nothing. For many it is the starting point of the route through the Amalfi Coast. If we talked recently about the wonders of Capri, today we focus on this mandatory stop at the beginning of the winding road that crosses the Mediterranean.
Sorrento looks at the sea. Its streets hang on cliffs from which to glimpse the bay of Naples and the imposing Vesuvius. It is the land of Sirenas, since it was precisely in this town where Ulysses heard and managed to get around his song; and it was also home of the poets, writers and writers of the 'Grand Tour', who looked in their meandering ways for inspiration. We speak of Lord Byron, Goethe, Dickens or Nietzsche, among others.
You don't need more than one day to enjoy a visit that we started in your nerve center, the Piazza Torquato Tasso. Not surprisingly, it was the city where the Italian poet was born and is Here where all Sorrentine activity is concentrated. Presiding over it is the Ercolano Bar, typical terrace with chairs focused on the square to sit and watch life go by while enjoying a capuccino.
Everything goes through the square © iStock
From the Piazza Tasso there is one of the pedestrian streets to get lost between souvenirs, handicraft shops, greengrocers and Sorrentina's own hubbub, the Via San Cesareo. Worth visiting tourists and locals to explore it.
The entire historic center is located surrounded by the original walls of the 16th century, those who could not stop the sacking of the city by the Turks back in 1558. If we turn our backs on Piazza Tasso, we will find the Palazzo Correale, a noble residence of the XVII decorated with exquisite ceramics and the Valley of the Mills, an impressive gorge full of wild vegetation and ancient water mills in ruins.
To the right and left of the center of Sorrento streets open to continue with our Italian incursion. On the one hand, if we walk along Via Correale, to the right of the square, we will come across the Correale Museum, famous for the large number of works of art of the ancient Roman villas it houses, and the Agruminate, an imposing garden of more than 11,000 square meters full of citrus trees.
Old mills of the city © Alamy
To the 'sinistra', that is, to the left of Piazza Tasso, if we enter via Luigi de Maio, we find another of Sorrento's key points, the church of San Francisco. SJust to admire its cloister full of vegetation and flowers, it is worth approaching.
We continue to the delicious park Villa Comunale, a garden with a cliff in the background to enjoy with the views over the Marina Piccola. From here you can walk down to the sea or, for just over a euro, take the elevator that leaves you directly on the coast. As in many of the towns of the Amalfi Coast, in Sorrento the beaches shine by their absence. In this case they have resolved their lack, building some dikes on which hammocks and beach houses sit, which have become a whole 'leitmotiv' of the area. There are even hammocks over the sea!
After Marina Piccola, your attention will be Marina Grande Its about traditional fishing port of Sorrento and it is where, at sunset, all the activity is concentrated and the coming and going of its people. It is also ideal to enjoy a dinner in the moonlight.
View of the Marina Grande © Turismo de Italia
EAT IN SORRENTO
Surely you know the gnocchi alla sorrentina which, as can be deduced from his name, have their origin in Sorrento. Tomato, basil and cheese. Simple and delicious
Also typical of the region are fish dishes (due to its proximity to the sea) and pizzas. One of the essential places to go to, is L'Antica Trattoria (Via Father Reginaldo Giuliani, 33). This restaurant is conceived as a small Italian oasis, with a spectacular terrace under a pergola from which vines hang. Order the Antica Trattoria tagliolini with lemon cream, shrimp and spinach.
If what you want is to fill the stomach with a succulent pizza and views over the bay, head for Acqu'e Sale (Piazza Marinai D'Italia, 2). With the pizzaiolo Antonino Esposito in front, it will be difficult for you to decide between so much variety. In addition, they use tomatoes from Campania, Provolone with D.O and dough that they make with care and affection.
If you want pizza, this is your place in the world © Acqu'e Sale
SLEEP IN SORRENTO
Although it is a small population, the hotel offer has multiplied in recent years. We dream of sleeping in Bellevue Syrene. East Relaix & Châteaux, located in a villa of the XVIII, has panoramic views over the Sorrentine cliffs. Everything about him is to daydream. Its haute cuisine restaurants, the terraces over the sea, the private beach ...
Special mention deserves our next dream hotel. If we are facing the sea, why not sleep as if we were sailors? To do this, book at La Minervetta, a 12-room boutique hotel located in the Marina Grande. There everything is blue, red and white. The decoration with a very peculiar style, being able to wake up with views of the sea and Vesuvius, and the friendliness of its owners make it a place not to be missed.
Here, everything invites you to dream © Bellevue Syrene
THE LIMONCELLO IN LAND LEMONS
We have tried, we have shown you that in Sorrento there is life beyond the limoncello. But let's admit it, Your trip will not be complete until you are seduced by its charms.
Talking about limoncello in Sorrento is talking about one of the brands with the most international projection: Villa Massa. Its origin dates from 1991, the year in which the brothers Stefano and Sergio Massa, decided to recover their family's tradition of entertaining their guests with handmade lemon liqueur.
Why not turn it into a company? The recipe is easy, but secret: They only use the skins of lemon, alcohol, water and sugar and voilà! We have the lemongrass ready to be enjoyed.
If you want to delve deeper into the fascinating history of Villa Massa and know what is really behind each bottle, They organize guided tours of 'Le Grotelle', their private lemon garden where this wonderful adventure began.
A must for limoncello © Villa Massa