Agenzia Campania Turismo

History, art and Culture

A little bit of history

Sorrento, how many definitions have been ascribed to this locality, one of the best-known international tourist resort.
Sorrento,the hometown of the poet Torquato Tasso, who was born here in 1544. Also Sorrento is known for land of colours;land of the Mermaids and the city of the orange and lemon groves.
Each one of these definitions contains the truth because Sorrento is indeed a pretty little town where kindness and hospitality are a combination that is handed down from one generation to the next.
Sorrento, not to be rhetorical, is indeed the land of colours: brilliant or delicate hues depending on the change of the seasons. If you just spend a moment to observe how emotional a sunset can be when you gaze in the direction of Punta del Capo, of Ischia or Procida islands, the outlines of which can be seen clearly, you will be amazed by the variety of colours and the beauty of the landscape. Or look, preferably from the sea, towards the majestic ridges of tuff rock that changes colour at every hour of the day.

Then why not let your mind go back in time so that, with a bit of imagination, you can see the nimble Greek ships ride the waves and Ulysses bound tightly to the main mast to listen safely to the dangerous song of the mermaids... Or follow the wake of the Roman ships loaded  with goods and busy sailors, and  look around the wonderful villas the Roman emperors built on our coasts, among the most beautiful in the world.
Or perhaps the ships black as ink, fully armed and laden with ferocious Turks, like those that, in search of wealth and bounty, sacked Sorrento in 1558.
So many legends are told about these invasions; legends that are almost always linked to the great devotion that the people of Sorrento have for their patron Saint Antonino and their well-grounded faith. Visiting the crypt of the Basilica, dedicated of course to St. Antonino, you will be deeply moved by the number of votive offerings to the patron saint, and reading from them true stories, both happy and sad, of simple and industrious people, influenced over the centuries by various cultures.
Many civilizations have lived in this area: the Etruscans, the Greeks (who gave the city its urban layout that is still clearly visible today in the historical centre), the Oscans, the Romans. Later came the subjugation to Byzantium, the sack by the Longobards, the conquest by the Normans, the good influence of the Aragonese. After a long period of stagnation, the beginning of the 18th century saw a time of cultural, economic and social rebirth for the whole of  Sorrento peninsula, at the top during the 19th century.

This was the time when the tourism vocation of the area was born and was established with its inclusion in the so-called "Grand Tour". A journey through the most important Italian sites that every young European noble of the time had to make to complete his cultural, historical and literary formation. Important guests such as Byron, Keats, Scott, Dickens, Goethe, Wagner, Ibsen and Nietzsche, among the most famous, came to stay in Sorrento looking for sun and inspiration.

The same period saw an intensification of traditional activities such as agriculture, sea trade and finally and progressively the tourism industry that is currently the most important sector of the Sorrentine economy.

Today Sorrento is a modern city offering high-standard accommodations, rich restaurants selection, italian most famous fashion brands.  

Do not miss the prestigious and rich Museo Correale di Terranova, keeping important testimonies of the town history still today.

Since the 18th century, Sorrento is also famous for its great craft tradition of inlaid wood. Some examples of great value can be admired at the Museo-Bottega della Tarsia Lignea located in an ancient palace of the 18th century in the historical centre.

Sorrento hosts important cultural, musical and cinema events, and is the ideal starting point for visiting all the important tourist sites of the area: Capri, Ischia, Naples, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Positano, Amalfi.

Welcome and enjoy your stay here in Sorrento.




Azienda Autonoma di Soggiorno e Turismo di Sorrento-Sant\'Agnello

Tour fotografico

Bluprint Agenzia Campania Turismo - Sede di Sorrento - Sant'Agnello
Registered office: Via Santa Lucia, 81 - 80143 NAPOLI
Headquarters: Via Luigi De Maio, 35 - 80067 SORRENTO
Phone: +39 081 8074033 - Fax: +39 081 8773397 - PEC: - E-mail:
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