Situated at the north of Sorrentina Peninsula, the city’s name derives from its Greek origins, “surreo,” which means to flow together. This could certainly describe Sorrento’s history. The Greeks founded the city in the 6th century BC, and in the 4th century BC it was conquered by the Samnites, and later became part of the Roman Empire.

After the fall of Rome’s Western Empire in the 6th AD century, the Byzantines re-conquered the region and it remained under their control until the 9th century. Sorrento fought against Saracen invaders, and in the year 1000 AD began the government of Sergio I and his son Sergio II, which lasted about a century. In 1133 the city came under the control of Roger the Norman, and later to the King of Naples.

In the 16th century Sorrento fell victim to repeated attacks and sackings by pirates, and to better defend the city the inhabitants fortified the town with high walls and towers, many of which remain to this day. In 1648 the city was under siege during the Masaniello revolt when it remained loyal to the Spanish empire.

The city’s inhabitants joined the Parthenopean Republic in 1799 and took part in numerous engagements between the republicans and Bourbons. It then came under the control of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies and underwent remarkable changes that improved and enlarged the city. During this era it began to attract many colorful guests from around Europe.

In 1861 the city was officially incorporated to the Kingdom of Italy, and it was soon discovered as a pleasant holiday resort for refined and intellectual tourists. Notable guests included Lord Byron, John Keats, Water Scott and Goethe. It still boasts the privileged title of “serena stazione de soggiorno” (peaceful holiday resort). It remains a prime tourist destination with plenty to do and see.