Despite being surrounded by groves of bitter lemons, Sorrento is one of Italy’s sweetest cities. Red-roofed buildings, balconied apartments and yawning piazzas characterise the centre of town. Elsewhere, the waterfront is defined by 2 sand and shingle beaches and the fishing boats that pogo on the waves, not far from the shore.
• Duck into Villa Comunale Park. It’s the largest park in Sorrento and it serves up the sort of views of the Amalfi coast that guidebook writers use to illustrate their articles.
• From the Circumevesuviana station, a few metres south east of Piazza Tasso, you can catch the train to the historical city of Pompeii, which was deluged by ash when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.
• If you catch the ferry from Sorrento, you can be in Capri in under an hour. The life lived on this island is high and shopping and fine dining top most people’s priority lists.
SHORE EXCURSIONS► View all EXCURSIONS
From Sophia Loren to George Clooney, this slice of coast has been a magnet for the rich and glamorous for decades. On this trip you’ll snake your way along the winding clifftop roads from buzzing Sorrento to the film-star-favourite town of Amalfi. The road takes you up to dizzying heights, showcasing widescreen views of the coastline. Keep your camera to hand as we travel past the lemon groves and sorbet-painted villages that have been built up the steep cliff sides. We’ll have a stop for photos at one of the most impressive viewpoints along the way. Once we pull up in Amalfi, a guide will point out the town’s star attraction – the monochrome-striped cathedral. You’ll then have some free time to explore the town under your own steam – wander down to the marina, shop for locally made limoncello, or order a gelato from a beach-side café.
Explore the historical city of Pompeii, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. This fascinating tour’s the perfect introduction to this ancient city, situated at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. It was destroyed in 79AD, following the famous volcanic eruption that smothered it in 6 to 7 metres of pumice and ash. You’ll walk with your guide around the remains of this impressive - and doomed – city to get a feel for what life was like in Roman times before the city’s destruction. A fascinating tour that is not to be missed!
In 79AD this remarkable aristocratic resort town was submerged under a torrent of mud and lava from the same eruption that destroyed Pompeii. Rediscovered by well-diggers in the 18th-century, excavation continues to this day - a delicate operation as much of the site is covered by modern buildings. Herculaneum is smaller than Pompeii, but its size and better preservation gives us a more immediate sense of the shape and ambience of a Roman town. While Pompeii was burned out with volcanic cinders, the mud swamping Herculaneum covered the houses in a protective crust, which kept upper storeys and even some of the woodwork and mosaics intact. Even a few of the gardens have been lovingly replanted.