Sitting astride the steep gorge that once divided the cliff-top center of Sorrento, Piazza Tasso is the pulsating heart of one of Italy’s most popular seaside resort towns. This bustling, café-lined main square is where locals and visitors alike come to see and be seen, and to admire the square’s baroque church and 18th-century palace.
Two of Sorrento’s main shopping streets lead from Piazza Tasso: Corso Italia, a busy thoroughfare lined with elegant restaurants and boutiques; and pedestrian-only Via San Cesareo, a narrow lane of shops overflowing with an array of products made with local Sorrentine lemons and other artisan goods. The square is named after Torquato Tasso (a statue dedicated to the Renaissance poet stands in one corner of the piazza), and its main attractions include the baroque Santuario della Madonna del Carmine and Palazzo Correale, an 18th-century palace built around a home owned by the aristocratic Correale family. Be sure not to miss the dramatic scenic overlook from Piazza Tasso, with views over the gorge below and Mediterranean sea beyond.
Most small-group walking tours and shore excursions to the city center begin in Piazza Tasso before moving on to explore the maze of tiny back streets in the historic district or heading down to Marina Grande, the sleepy fishing village on the water’s edge below town. Sorrento is just over an hour from Mt. Vesuvius and the Pompeii and Herculaneum archaeological sites, making it the perfect base for a private day trip.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The square is flat and easily accessible for both wheelchairs and strollers.
- The cafés in the piazza are perfect for an aperitivo cocktail before dinner.
- The square is open to vehicles during the day, but at night the traffic is limited and pedestrians reclaim the space for evening strolls.
How to Get There
Sorrento is located along the southern Campania coast, halfway between Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Below the city’s historic center, the Marina Piccola port is a hub for ferries to and from other destinations along the coast, including Capri and Positano. The train station is just a 5-minute walk from Piazza Tasso, with trains to Naples that connect with routes to Rome and other cities across Italy.
When to Get There
Sorrento is most crowded during summer; unlike other towns along the coast, however, businesses do not close during the winter season, so you can find Sorrento hotels and restaurants open year-round.
Limoncello in Sorrento
Limoni di Sorrento, or Sorrentine lemons, are Sorrento’s most famous local product and the main ingredient in many traditional recipes. You can sample the best artisanal limoncello—a tangy liqueur made from lemon peel—along with other excellent coastal specialties by joining a small-group food tour in Sorrento.