This is a list of some of my favorite spots in Sorrento and near Sorrento on the peninsula.
Piazza della Vittoria – Since my first day in Sorrento this has been one of my favorite spots. This Piazza has, in my opinion, the best view in all of Sorrento: the entire bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius. The best part is that I pass through it every day on my way to class. Even at night the view is beautiful because Naples and the other cities located at the foot of the volcano are illuminated.
Leone Rosso – This restaurant is one of the best I’ve tried-granted, I don’t eat out much because I live with a host family. I’ve been twice and have loved it both times. There is no cover charge and the service is really great, which can be hard to come by.
Piazza Tasso – This is the main square of Sorrento. It is always bustling, especially in the summer. I’ve seen the crowd diminish gradually as the colder weather has started setting in, but nonetheless, remains a popular place in town. There is also a really nice view of the sea from Piazza Tasso and stair access to the port where you can grab a boat to Capri or the Amalfi Coast or even Naples.
Giardini di Cataldo – This garden is a recent discovery for me even though I live very nearby. It is primarily a lemon grove, producing the famous Sorrento lemons, but also produces oranges and walnuts all of which are used to make artisanal limoncello, gelato, and marmalades. You can also schedule a guided tour or sit at one of the cozy tables set beneath the growing lemons to enjoy a coffee or gelato.
Franco’s Pizzeria – One of my favorite pizzerias in Sorrento, “Franco’s” is a go-to for my friends and me, especially because of its reasonable prices and central location.
Raki – Especially when the weather was warmer, Raki was a routine pit-stop between classes or after classes for gelato. The flavors are really unique and sometimes don’t seem like they would be very tasty, but they are. In fact, ricotta is one my favorite flavors. Mango with Orange and Pineapple with Basil are also some of the best, in my opinion. It’s also located in the historical center of Sorrento so it’s fun to order an ice cream and then wander the quaint pedestrian streets of the surrounding area.
Five Sisters Restaurant – Although I’ve never eaten a full meal here, I’ve added it to the list because of the lemon cake and because of the fantastic location. This restaurant is located in Marina Grande and has tables overlooking the sandy beach and the Marina. Not only is the view fantastic, but the cake is also DELICIOUS. I haven’t heard the best reviews from people who have had a full meal there, so I recommend just going for the cake. It’s definitely worth it.
Torre Cangiani – This is actually a place we went to on a field trip and is located in Massa Lubrense, the town next to Sorrento. It’s an agriturismo location, meaning its primary income is due to farming/agriculture but it also serves as a bed and breakfast. It has an incredible view of the Mediterranean Sea and the Sorrentine peninsula and it’s a fantastic place to watch the sunset. It’s accessible by SITA bus.
Pasticceria Monica – This is one of the best pastry shops I’ve found and I think it’s also very popular among the locals, including my host mom. She has taken me with her several times (once to buy the cake for my host-sister’s 18th birthday) and each time I try something new, yet equally delicious.
Sentiero degli Dei – This is a hike called “the Path of the Gods” that is located along the Amalfi coast. It has the most incredible view of the peninsula and even Capri and the Farallones of Capri are visible from certain points. It’s a great weekend day-trip, especially on a beautiful day.
Anna is a current student at the University of South Carolina studying at Sant’Anna Institute (SA) in Italy during the Fall 2014 term.