Get the real dislike out of the way 1st. Scootors - by the 1,000,000
Sorrento is not a city. A reasonably sized small town, more like.
From an Irish tourist perspective (and not snobbish) think Bundoran(Dl)/Salthill(G)/Dalkey Promende only much more upmarket. IMO, if tourism tackiness has a centre of excellence, this is it's address. NO. Amalfi is as bad and so is Positano. I spared myself Capri, tho' I've precious little evidence to think its any different. Shop after clonelike shop flogging identical cra... sorry, merchandise. But enough of this curmudgeonery.
My wife (or whatever PC word fits) loved it.
Magnas inter opes magnum, - the trip wasn't a complete waste.
Setting aside the trinket tourist traps (and even they were tastful), Sorrento and the others do have a charm all to themselves. I doubt they were damaged in the War, such is the apparent quaintness of the narrow streets, resplendent with tall houses/tavernas, etc and the ubiquitous cobblestones.
Literally, I found yet another photo op around every corner and if you take away the electric lights its just as Shelly, Keats and the rest of the 18/19 Cent Grand Tour(ists) left it. Certainly we found no Golden Arches or Red Hat huts, much to the credit of the Italian urban planners; pizza, fish & chip, ice cream establishments abound but in an unobtrusive way. Could you visit Italy and NOT have an ice-cream ?
There is a very definite absence of garish neon. Well done.
As one would expect, the upmarket shops, Guichy and his ilk, are there aplenty, 18 c gold being reasonably priced, Mrs tourist informed me, tho I suspect I'll see the evidence for myself later, in the flexible bill. Eating out we found quite reasonable, by Irish/UK standards, tho they tend to have a light hand with the potions of veggies. ALL sea food came "from frozen" - this info is on all menus, curious in a sea port and this was a bit disappointing. Mrs tourist found the wine menu expansive and at a good price. Acqua is €2 a lt in hotels, etc. The waiters are very friendly and good for a laugh, just ask for the French wine list ! As you'd expect, multi lingual.
But its the scenery that's spectacular.
Perched on cliffs, the towns are well served by tour busses. And cheap. Expect a one hr, or longer, tour for €10 but be well advised to go on them; you'll be rewarded with superb snaps.
I should point out that its €8 per day or part thereof, to go to a beach, when you can find one. While some are served by lifts, most are accessed by foot on steep paths carved onto the cliffs, so there may be issues if you have weight/health problems; not so much going down but ascents will be tasking. If the budget allows, do take a cruise to Almalfi; not for the (same) architecture or churches but for the scenery. Most go via but don't land on, Capri and stop for bathers for 30 mins. Again great snaps.
All in all, easy to see why its an UNESCO site. Lovely.
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