This travel snapshot of Sorrento hopes to highlight the best of where to eat, shop & stay.
Songs have been written about this city northwest of Italy’s lush Amalfi Coast because once lured by its spirit, Sorrento is forever in your heart.
Where to Eat
Our longstanding favorite is L’Abate (V. Piazza San Antonino 24) reigns over its corner of the piazza where you can people watch off the beaten path while savoring every bite of black squid ink pasta with a delectable squash sauce. You will think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Grab a table by the rail and sip a local wine selected by the friendly waiter.
O’Parrucchiano (Corso Italia 71) is where canelloni was born, or so the local legend goes, so how can you go wrong? Its entrance is unassuming and you might just walk by but once inside you’re surrounded by a magical garden where the pleasure is visual and rests on your taste buds as well.
Villa Rubinacci (Via Correale 25) is where the locals go to dine which is the best indication of good food. Families dine in groups so you know the prices are good as well. In season try their stuffed, fried zucchini blossoms. Picture it, edible flowers filled studded with creamy ricotta. Need we say more?
Where to Shop
Sorrento is known for lace and inlaid woodwork. Be careful where you shop because some lace is not made in Italy, despite what you’ll hear. For pretty lace handkerchiefs, The Embroidery Centre (Via P.R. Giuliani 36) is the best in embroidered gifts from tablecloths to hankies and they’re reasonably priced.
For inlaid woodwork, try Gargiulo & Jannuzzi (Viale E. Caruso, 1) which is the large shop behind Fauno Bar (another place to people watch). Their customer service is the best and they offer a great variety. Mention you heard about them through Wanderlust Women Travel and you may even get a discount. They also ship worldwide if you fall in love with that side table. Do resist the urge to buy limoncello unless you taste it first. Most shops will allow you to sip a sample. For food & home goods, Vizi & Sfizi (Via Fuoro 22) is worth scoping out. It offers a wide variety and prices are reasonable.
Where to Stay
Staying in Sorrento is the best to navigate any visit to the Amalfi Coast and the surrounding islands of Capri, Ischia or Procida. At the height of the season expect to pay more. Some of the places to stay in the center of town, right off Piazza Tasso include Hotel Antiche Mura for old world charm or the Hotel Plaza for a modern take with a rooftop pool and bar. Palazzo Jannuzzi Relais is surprisingly quiet inside its spacious rooms despite being directly on top of Fauno Bar which rarely closes!
Further along Corso Italia but worth the extra time to walk uphill is the Grand Hotel Capodimonte. There are now too many B & Bs and flats for rent in the heart of the city. Many are good but others are questionable. You cannot go wrong with a B & B stay at Villa Relais Angiolina. And as they say in Sorrento, “sogni d’oro,” sweet dreams.