Why You Should Consider Studying in Sorrento
Josie, Fall 2022, Florence
September 11, 2023

Are you looking for an Italian study abroad experience that allows you to connect to the Italian culture without the hustle and bustle of city life? Sorrento could be the place for you! Compared to the population of Rome (2,873,000) or Florence (382,000), Sorrento provides a more intimate experience with a population of only 16,609. That’s less than the undergraduate population at the University of South Carolina! But don’t let the smaller population size fool you! There’s a lot going on in Sorrento that makes it a great destination to study abroad. Sorrento is located right on the Sorrentine Coast of Italy, making it a home to beautiful marinas such as the Marina Piccola which is a public beach and port for ferries going to neighboring destinations like Capri and Naples.

A view of the Marina Piccola: a breathtaking hub for water-based transport.

Sorrento also is nearby several popular Italian destinations, making it easy to many places on the Italian peninsula! Sorrento is only 40 minutes by ferry from Positano, 30 minutes by ferry to Capri, both popular destinations on the Amalfi Coast. For those seeking out other historic destinations in Italy, Sorrento is about 30 minutes from Pompeii, 2.5 hours from Rome, 4.5 hours from Florence, and 8 hours from Milan by train.

For those who are looking for study abroad experience with beachfront access, Sorrento is an amazing choice! The Bagni Regina Giovanna is a popular spot to bask in the natural beauty of the Sorrentine peninsula and go for a swim. Bagni Regina Giovanna, whose name originated from Queen Joanna I of Naples, was known as the place for secret lovers to meet in one of the many caverns.

An overhead view of Bagni Regina Giovanna: a historic Roman Villa and popular swimming destination.

Students who love the water should also consider taking a marine biology course at Sant’ Anna Institute of Sorrento where they are able to gain field experience through snorkeling trips! The proximity to the Mediterranean Sea allows students taking marine ecology and vulcanology coursework the ability to directly see the impact of their studies on the natural habitat.

Sorrento also has a rich history of citrus harvesting, making it a perfect destination to visit a lemon garden like I Giardini di Cataldo or participate in a Limoncello-making workshop! In fact, there is a unique variety of lemon called a Sorrento lemon that originated in the region! Visitors should make sure to eat the Torta al Limone, or lemon cake, that can be found in many pasticcerias throughout Sorrento. For those lucky enough to be in Sorrento in July, there is an annual lemon festival held in the nearby town of Massa Lubrense where people gather for music, street performances, and shopping.

Students on a snorkeling trip through Sant’ Anna Institute of Sorrento.

Sorrento also hosts a 3-day Mostra Mercato dei Prodotti Tipici Festival which promotes locally grown and produced goods such as grapes, eggplants, olives, tomatoes, regional dishes, and handcrafted goods.

Studying with SAI Programs is a way to maximize your cultural immersion experience while in Sorrento. Students are welcomed to Italy at the airport and then treated to a meal where they get to know others in their program. Throughout the semester, SAI Programs offers a variety of included experiences like a gelato-making workshop, a coffee factory visit, and a hike to Ieranto Bay! To further maximize their integration into the Italian culture, students have the option to do a homestay program with a host family. Those looking for a bit more of a student-centered experience can instead choose to live in a shared student apartment nearby the Sant’ Anna campus.

I Giardini di Cataldo: a lemon garden and artisanal products market.

If you are not already convinced that Sorrento is the place for you, imagine waking up every day to the sight of the Mediterranean Sea, the smell of citrus, and the rich tastes of Italian cuisine. Studying in Sorrento gives you the chance to easily travel throughout Italy while having a home base that welcomes you into the community. If you are ready to begin your Sorrento adventure, you should study with SAI Programs and their partner Sant’ Anna Institute of Sorrento!

For more info about the Sorrento Program at Sant’Anna with SAI Programs learn more here

Written by: Josie Sobecks, Fall 2022 Florence Student from The University of South Carolina.

Josie wrote this blog for the USC Education Abroad Office’s Blog and gave permission to share them here.

You can find her post with the USC Education Abroad Office here


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