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Post Your Trip Report Here

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Post Your Trip Report Here

Newboldbobs, ModemUk and myself have decided to have this post for people to add their report to. We always love to hear back from people after their trip to Sorrento, and it is useful for people who are planning a trip.

You can either write your report here, or add a link from a report that you have already done.

94 replies to this topic
New Jersey
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41. Re: Post Your Trip Report Here

Our third excursion with Gennaro of Sorrento Limo. There are similar names so be sure it is just Sorento Limo and Gennaro Ruocco. Doesn't get better than this! Spent a full day exploring Amalfi Coast and had time for Pompeii as well. Gennaro had his usual excellent restaurant recommendation for lunch. Comfortable vehicle. Gennaro is a great host. Hope to see him again!

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42. Re: Post Your Trip Report Here

We have just returned from a six week trip to Italy and Greece including a week in Sorrento/Campania and we wanted to share our experiences in a trip report along with some images.... Read more follow the link


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43. Re: Post Your Trip Report Here

A pleasant and very noisy town – ideal for exploring the local sights such as Pompeii, Herculaneum, Capri, Naples, Vesuvius, Amalfi Coast etc. Enough to occupy a 1-2 week vacation.

We stayed in Sant’Agnello – a much quieter part of the town but a very inconvenient distance from the town centre. There are local buses. Walking is an option – if you feel brave as the pavements are narrow and crossings frequent. There is also the local train service – which cost 1.30 Euros for one stop. Our usual method of evening “commuting” was to get the train in and walk back – when it was cooler ( took 30-40 minutes depending upon heat and traffic ). In fact the train was usually free – tickets are never checked in Sorrento station when you arrive. For return journeys you need a ticket though to go through the turnstile. The last train left Sorrento at 9:30pm in July. Notes on train at the end.

Tickets can be bought in a small shop beside the station if the main ticket office at platform level is closed.

Between the station and the town centre is a great supermarket for stocking up on supplies.

There are so many restaurants in Sorrento – of mixed quality and price. Tripadvisor really is best way to plan your stay. Common sense will tell you that places in central tourist sites are inferior quality and more expensive. Look to the back streets and those frequented by Italians.

You can walk down to the main marina in 5-10 minutes. Worth visiting to see the boats, and obviously for day trips. I would recommend getting the lift back to the top – it only costs 1 Euro each and is safe and clean. It is located a few hundred metres along the coast directly behind some of the private beaches with their boardwalks and deck chairs. Near where the lift comes out at the top is an excellent viewpoint for taking sunset photos over the Bay.

The ironically smaller Marina Grande is also worth a visit for a picturesque evening meal.

The small train that trundles around the centre, marina etc. is worth the 6 Euros charge.

Italian drivers ( in Sorrento area at least - are manic ). Just about every rule of the road in UK is broken here – speeding, calling/texting on phones, riding with children and dogs on scotters (!), ignoring pedestrian crossings, overtaking on dangerous bends, parking everywhere. The majority of cars seemed to have dents. Every second vehicle is a scooter. To summarise – be careful !

Noise is everywhere. Children appear to play outside until very late at night. Combined with the traffic a good set of earplugs would be recommended if you are a light sleeper.

Many toilets in restaurants have no seats and are basic. You are expected to stand or squat depending upon gender. Disabled access is not even thought about. I would really feel for a wheelchair visitor – compared to the UK or USA – Italy is decades behind.

In shops expect to pay 1.50 Euros for a 500ml bottle of Coke. Diet Coke is called Cola Light. Lemon Soda is great. Beer and wine are both very cheap compared to the UK. Bread is mixed quality – you always have to ask for butter ( burro ). As long as you make an attempt to speak some Italian you will be treated better. Walking in and expecting 100% English compliance is pure arrogance.

It is ice cream heaven – plenty of reviews elsewhere.

The local limoncello product is extremely strong. You may be offered a tipple at the end of a meal.

At night the main roads in the centre are mainly pedestrianized. That is until a car or scooter decides the rule doesn’t apply to them. Again with small children care is needed. But it is in the evening that Sorrento becomes a great place to wander through the back streets sampling local produce and goods.

Another major difference from UK is that most dog owners do not pick up their pets mess. Some pavements are in a disgusting state – luckily the heat takes care of the problem to an extent.

Also be aware that in summer heat I found mosquitoes to be a problem. Despite not suffering from them in places like the Caribbean, or midges in Scotland I was eaten alive in Sorrento.

At the end of our holiday we travelled back to Naples airport on a minibus transfer ( A2Btransfers ) – I would not recommend this company. The driver fancied himself as a Formula one driver. Stopping distances between cars were measured in feet. Speed limits were ignored. We were utterly relieved to arrive at the airport in one piece !

This is my second visit to Sorrento, the last time being 1998. Nothing seems to have changed - apart from Liras have gone. Maybe part of its appeal.

Final points on the train service :

It is basic – hard seats and no air conditioning. Many carriages are dirty. Graffiti is everywhere. Train services in the UK seem luxurious.

Some of the windows are broken and do not open.

Doors can open when the train is moving.

Musical buskers patrol the train expecting cash.

We frequently had to stand – the train is often very busy. It gets quieter after the Pompeii stop.

Some services have electronic displays showing the next stop. On others there is a sign above doors showing the route’s stations. On a few trains this was vandalised and illegible.

Train timetables are readily available – but seemed to be a work of fiction.

The Villages...
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44. Re: Post Your Trip Report Here

Here is my trip report for Sept, 2013: Sorrento - 7 day trips


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45. Re: Post Your Trip Report Here

Here's the link to our trip report posted on the Italy forum. Sorrento is Days 19-21


Somerset UK
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46. Re: Post Your Trip Report Here

Here's mine . . .

My wife and I stayed at the Grand Hotel Aminta in September/October, by choice, having selected it from the Riviera Travel hotel options and after consulting TripAdvisor’s reviews. We were delighted that we did. All the favourable reviews proved to be well founded – we loved the Hotel. It was scrupulously clean, well appointed and a real pleasure to stay in. Staff at all levels were a pleasure to deal with from reception to bar staff and our dining room waiters were a real delight, all with a sense of humour.

The meals, we found, were very good. Other fellow Riviera travellers (who stayed elsewhere) seemed quite envious of what we experienced. The choice at breakfast (buffet style) was amazing; surely no-one could have left unsatisfied. Evening meals were a pleasure to look forward to. Wine was enjoyable and we thought, reasonably priced - we selected the house wine. Our table companions were a pleasure and added to the experience of breakfast and evening meals.

Our room (317) was a balcony room on the sunset side but, as it was at the end of the hotel, also afforded side views over Sorrento and views towards Vesuvius too. Highly recommended. Be aware you might have some difficulty to walk into town (but not impossible) as this hotel is on a hill side, high above and overlooking Sorrento. Taxis and a timed courtesy coach do run. It has a lovely swimming pool and it was still warm enough to swim late in the afternoon on returning from the daily trip.

Like most Riviera holidays they were packed with activity and enjoyable, providing coach trips to Vesuvius (shrouded in cloud), Pompeii (stark), Herculaneum (better preserved), Naples (interesting but not a favourite), Sorrento (lovely), Capri (gorgeous) and Amalfi (the drive, impressive). No journey was over long but the nature of the terrain meant some roads were travelled more than once to visit these places and full marks to the skill of the drivers who took us. While in Sorrento do try the Foreigners Club (it is not really a club!) for a meal with views over the sea toward Vesuvius.

The only constructive comment we would make is that the visit to the Archaeological Museum (in Naples) is, of necessity, only two hours long and not long enough to see so much! It took some while to understand that the supplied audio system only identified certain exhibits which were, in our opinion, far too discreetly marked - very small labels - with simply an earphone symbol and a number. Worth knowing - to get full value for your money and limited time.

Our tour guide, Effy, was an extremely pleasant, knowledgeable tour guide and went out of her way to shepherd us safely and keep us informed where ever we went.

No criticisms – a thoroughly enjoyable holiday and would love to go back to the Aminta for an independent holiday.

Heathfield, East...
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47. Re: Post Your Trip Report Here

Hi Everyone - here is my trip report (sorry it’s so long)

Having been lurking on these forums for about 6 months I thought I should give something back for all the invaluable advice I have gleaned, so here is my trip report for our visit to Sorrento & Positano from 30th April – 10th May 2014. I had been dreaming of this trip since I was a child and I am now fifty so it has been a lifelong dream and it did not disappoint. I would urge you to visit; the whole area is a unique experience and surely one of the most beautiful places in the world. I hope that others will find this useful for planning their trips.

We stayed in Sorrento from 30th April to 6th May at the Hotel Plaza and then moved on to the Residence Alcione in Positano on 6th May. We were really pleased with both choices, if you are interested, I have reviewed them separately. A special thanks to Momcat for recommending Residence Alcione which proved to be spot on.

Weds 30th April

Very early morning Easyjet flight from Gatwick to Naples which was completely unproblematic. We then had about an hour and half to kill before catching the 11.00am Curreri Viaggi bus to Sorrento. This was 10 euro each and we caught it at a bus top about 5mins walk from the airport terminal on the right opposite the main bus stop area. There are sign posts. When we boarded the bus other people had got on immediately outside the terminal so I guess at the moment they are stopping in both places. Just to give everyone an idea, the bus was about three quarters full and you cannot pre book so in high season getting a place might not be so easy. The journey was very pleasant and took about an hour. Also, should mention the very friendly man on board who helped us stow our luggage underneath. The bus stops outside the Circumvesuviana station in Sorrento which was a few minutes walk from our Hotel. We spent the rest of the day wandering around Sorrento, looking in the shops and generally getting our bearings. Sorrento is not a huge place and is easily explored in a couple of days. There are plenty of restaurants and shops at all price levels, beautiful views and although it is a bit touristy, I think this makes for quite a jolly atmosphere. Sorrento makes a great base to come back to after day trips and is an excellent transport hub.

Thurs 1st May

We had planned to spend the day in Sorrento and as the weather was beautiful this turned out to be great. We walked down to Marina Piccolo to find out about ferry times to Capri as we planned to visit the island later in the week and after a coffee on the harbour side took the lift back up to town. We then walked to Marina Grande which we thought was really picturesque, particularly in the sun and we had lunch at Ristorante Bagni di Delfino which has a lovely situation. The food was very good but we found the service overbearing to the point where we felt we were being rushed which was strange as the restaurant was not overly busy. After lunch we wandered back up to town, had a nap at the hotel and then met some friends who were also staying in Sorrento at Bar Ercolano on the main square. Drinks here were reasonable and the service is good, also you get the buzz of being on the main square. We went for dinner at Ristorante Sorrento and just had grilled fish and salad which was very good and inexpensive.

Fri 2nd May

My husband has a pathological dislike of queues so I decided we should get up early to be at Pompeii when it opens at 8.30am. We caught the 07.55 am Circumvesuviana train from Sorrento station. The ticket office & platforms are upstairs on the first floor and the ticket office staff speak good English. They will also give you a timetable and a map of the network. We got a return ticket but I can’t remember the cost I think it was about 4 or 5 euro. As Sorrento is the starting point for trains to Naples, the stop for Pompeii Villa Misteri which is where you need to get off for the ruins is on this line, so it is easy to get on the right train. All trains stop there. The entrance to the ruins is right outside the station you cannot miss it. We decided to buy a combined site ticket as we knew we would be visiting Herculaneum as well and this saves a little. I cannot recommend getting to Pompeii early highly enough. When we first arrived we were the only people in the forum and you can truly get the atmosphere and a sense of the scale of the town. We decided to self guide from the Lonely Planet, the onsite guidebook that you can pick up at the ticket office and other information I had obtained in my wanderings on the internet. This proved to be fine for us as we wanted to take things at our own pace. Pompeii is vast and you cannot hope to see everything in one visit. Our strategy was to pick out the main buildings that interested us and to focus on these. It is also worth mentioning that it is quite hard to walk around as the roads are very uneven and the kerbs really high. Also, there is no shade and very limited catering. We saw some people with very young children who were really struggling – just a thought. We left at about 13.00 by which time it was very busy with lots of very large tours groups. I would estimate that the queue at the ticket office would have taken about an hour by this time (this would not have been an option for my husband hence the early start). We took things easy in the afternoon and then had dinner at Meating Sorrento which was a beautiful meal. Service was impeccable. This is not the cheapest but certainly worth it.

Sat 3rd May

Back on the Circumvesuviana, this time at about 10.30 to go to Naples. We had a travel card that you could use on the train, metro, buses and funicular which lasted all day. Again I don’t remember the cost, but I think it was cheaper as it was a weekend, anyway it was excellent value. The train journey took just over an hour and is pretty tedious as the train stops everywhere. By the time you are nearer Naples it is very busy but other than some beggars on the train we did not feel intimidated and as long as you adhere to the usual precautions for travelling in a large city it felt reasonably safe. This was true of the whole day in Naples. We took the Metro (you need to go upstairs and out of the main station, the Metro station is across a very busy road opposite) to Dante which is near to the entrance to Spaccanapoli and the historic district. The Metro is very easy to navigate. We mainly wandered around this area visiting the Capella Sansavero (to view the statue of the veiled Christ), the Duomo and Via San Gregorio Armeno where the nativity scenes are made. After this we walked down the via Toledo and stopped to have a look at Galleria Umberto which was very impressive, if a little shabby and the Opera House before finishing up in Piazza del Plebiscito. As you walk down via Toledo you can see into the washing strewn streets of Quartieri Spagnoli which is quintessential Naples. Finally we took the funicular Centrale up to Vomero to have a look at the view from in front of the Castel Sant Elmo which is spectacular. Obviously, this was what interested us in Naples but there are a myriad different things you can do in the city. Don’t tell me off for not visiting the Archaeological Museum; as we only had one day in Naples we wanted to get a feel for the atmosphere of the place, which is shabby and edgy but if you enjoy big cities it should not be missed. We took the Metro back from Toledo to the main train station and then back to Sorrento. In the evening we had dinner at La Lanterna which is a really traditional old school choice complete with extravagant sweet trolley. The food and service were good and we really enjoyed the traditional experience.

Sun 4th May

Back on the Circumvesuviana at 07.55 (they seem to run the same timetable on a Sunday) this time to visit Herculaneum. By this time we were starting to feel like regular commuters. We got off at the Ercolano Scavi stop and you need to walk out of the station and down the main road of the modern town of Ercolano for about 10mins to reach the ruins. Again, being this early, we were one of the first people on site which was magical. As is true for a lot of people we much preferred Herculaneum as it is so much better preserved and much more manageable, but I wouldn’t have been able to choose just one site and for me it was a must to visit both. If you are not so hung up on the Romans and have to choose just one site I would recommend Herculaneum. I should also mention that travelling back in the direction of Sorrento the train line splits with one branch going to another final destination. When you get on the train to go back at Ercolano there are no signs on the platform and no signs on the train that we could see, so consequently, on the first attempt we got on the wrong train. Don’t let this put you off, it is easy enough just to come back and get on the right train but we did waste about 40 mins doing this. Relaxed in Sorrento in the afternoon and then had dinner at an inexpensive restaurant on one of the small streets, I can’t remember the name but the food was simple and good.

Mon 5th May

Another early start, again in an attempt to get a head start on the worst of the crowds, we caught the 8.30am ferry to Capri. There is a timetable on the www.capri.net website. Tickets were 36 euro each return and can only be bought on the day. The ticket office is at Marina Piccolo where the ferry leaves from. Ask around when you get to the quayside as we were told the wrong number departure point, as were a number of others and nearly missed the ferry. Once we arrived we decided to get the bus straight to Anacapri from Marina Grande. If you turn right on the quayside towards Capri you will find the bus stop for Anacapri in a small parking area on the right. The buses are very small so you might have to wait for the next one if there are a lot of people (luckily we didn’t) and you can pay on board. The journey was a bit hair raising but one not to be missed. Once there we took the chair lift to Monte Solaro for the jaw dropping views. Just to let you know, I am not good with heights but the chair lift was not too scary; quite gentle and peaceful really. The entrance to the chair lift is just off the main square in Anacapri and this is also where you can catch the bus to Capri. We then had a wander around Anacapri which is lovely before catching the bus down to Capri which by this time was mad. Had a quick look around the tiny main square and the shops but the crowds were a bit of a turn off before heading to the Augustus Gardens and the via Krupp, this was quite well signposted. The gardens were a bit disappointing but once again the views were spectacular and the via Krupp is very impressive. Unfortunately, it was not open on the day we visited. This was our wedding anniversary, so by now all we really wanted to do was have a lovely lunch somewhere. All the restaurants I had earmarked as being in our price range in Capri did not have much of a view and as it was such a beautiful day we really wanted to sit outside and soak up the atmosphere. In the end we decided to walk back down to Marina Grande and chose a restaurant recommended in the Rough Guide (I am sorry I don’t remember the name) which turned out to be quite a good choice. Watching all the comings and goings was fun and whilst this might not be Capri’s most stunning location it beats Tunbridge Wells in the rain hands down. We caught the ferry back to Sorrento at about 3.30pm. There is a departure board on the quayside showing where to catch your ferry and you can catch an earlier one than your ticketed time if you wish. Once back in Sorrento we decided to go back to Marina Grande again for a couple of drinks as the weather was so spectacular and we whiled away a very pleasant hour or two before wandering back to the Hotel. This was our last night in Sorrento and we ate at Sacro e Profano as I liked the sound of it from the reviews on Trip Advisor. We were not disappointed with the food which was really good, but by this time the weather had taken a turn for the worse and it is down a windy side street so it was quite quiet and because of this a little lacking in atmosphere.

Tuesday 6th May

We transferred to Positano and decided to get a driver rather than try to negotiate the buses with our luggage and the aforementioned impatient husband. We used Guemar travel, another of Momcat recommendations. I booked the car by email before we left. Paola is very efficient and replies quickly so we were confident there would be no problems. Our car arrived on time and it took about 30 mins to drive to Positano along the spectacular coast road, this cost 60 euros. Once we had settled in and dragged ourselves away from the amazing view from our balcony we went for a look around Positano. Getting around Positano is quite difficult to visualise if all you have seen are maps and photographs; it is vertical so negotiating all the steps is quite tiring but it is beautiful and unique so well worth the effort. That evening we had dinner at Next2 on the Via Pasitea where a lot of restaurants are situated. Not the best view but in our opinion the best food of the whole trip – we ate here twice. This restaurant would not be for everyone as it is very contemporary and a little expensive but if you enjoy this style of dining you will not be disappointed.

Weds 7th May

Had a good look around Positano today. We looked in all the nooks and crannies and climbed up to the highest road and all the way back down again to the beach. By this time we were exhausted and flopped into a restaurant right by where the ferries dock for a couple of drinks and some pizza. Spent a happy hour or two watching the ferries come and go and don’t remember the bill being too expensive but I am not sure of the name of the restaurant. In the afternoon we relaxed on our stunning balcony. I think this is the way to really enjoy Positano. Sip something chilled and really drink in those views. In the evening we went to La Terra in Montepertuso. They arranged for a shuttle to come and pick us up from the hotel as it is up in the mountains. Unfortunately, by the time we got there it was dark so we didn’t see the acclaimed view and in our opinion the food was a bit mediocre. We felt like this was a bit of a tourist trap complete with cheesy Saxophone playing and the waitress singing a Whitney Houston song. A lot of people love it so I guess it just depends on your point of view.

Thurs 8th May

We caught the 10.00am ferry to Amalfi. You can buy your tickets on the quayside near to where the ferry docks, the timetable is also up on the kiosks down there. The views of the coastline are amazing from the ferry and it is nice to see things from the water for a change. Once in Amalfi we wanted to head straight to Ravello. The ferry docks where lots of buses are parked and we couldn’t work out where the bus stopped for Ravello. We eventually went into the tourist information office which is on the main road on the left of the bus parking area looking towards the town. Once there they sold us 7 euro tickets for the open topped tourist bus up to Ravello. Whilst this was not what I wanted I did naively think it might prevent the scrum to get on the public Ravello bus and thought it might be worth the extra cost. When the tourist bus arrived they had sold many more tickets than there were seats, there was no formal queue so just a mad scramble to board and suffice to say we did not get on. At this point my husband had a complete sense of humour failure, demanded his money back and that was the end of our trip to Ravello about which I was really disappointed but there was no talking him round. Grumpily, we had a look around Amalfi which is pretty, had some lunch and caught the ferry back to Positano. Also, by now I was coming down with a cold, so I was secretly quite grateful to collapse on my sunbed when we got back. In the evening we had pizza at Chez Blacks on the beach. The food was nothing that special but it does have a very buzzy atmosphere, it would appear it is the place in Positano and although it is a bit of a tourist trap we were pleasantly surprised with the prices.

Friday May 9th

This morning we decided to take the little local bus up to the village of Nocelle which is in the mountains which above Positano. There are several stops for the bus dotted around the village and you will see the buses buzzing about. You can buy your ticket on board and loose timetables are posted at the stops. This is the finish point for the Path of the Gods hiking trail which I would love to have done but as we are not the fittest, and between us have bad backs, asthma and by this time also a cold I decided a short walk along it and back down to Positano by bus would have to suffice. Nocelle is once again built on the vertical, the residents must be super fit and the start of the trail is not that easy to find. Just to try to help others a bit, the bus drops you off in a car park just above the village. If you walk into the village below and head to your left you should eventually come to the trail. Once again the views are to die for and I should imagine that the whole walk would be an amazing experience if you are fit enough. The traffic had built up a bit by the time we caught the bus back down so the ride proved to be an education in Italian negotiation skills and was great fun to watch. Once we were back down in Positano we walked from the main beach to Fornillo beach which is a short pleasant walk. There is an elevated walkway to the right of the main beach if you are looking out to sea. Along the way we stopped in a small restaurant for a drink and more views before spending the afternoon relaxing on the balcony. As it was our last night we went back to Next2 as this had been our favourite restaurant and said goodbye to Positano.

Sat 10th May

I had booked a driver from Guemar travel again to take us back to Naples airport, this cost 110 euro. We allowed 2 hours to get to the airport and it only took an hour in the middle of the day but there had been strikes by the SITA bus drivers earlier in the week when they had completely blocked the road with their buses. All I can say is that traffic conditions in this part of the world are unpredictable and at least once you are at the airport you can relax.

Hope anyone who has managed to wade through all this has not found it too boring and until next time, ciao bella Italia.

Hemel Hempstead...
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48. Re: Post Your Trip Report Here

What a fantastic post! really informative - thank you.. I'm looking to go to the Amalfi coast next year for my husbands 40th and you've given me some great information.. Thank you again xx

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49. Re: Post Your Trip Report Here

2265yah - Great trip report. Thanks for sharing. I am planning a trip to Sorrento and found your TR very helpful.

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50. Re: Post Your Trip Report Here

I would love to do this too.

Can someone please let me know where I post my trip report so I can provide the link?

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