The most important church in Sorrento, the Basilica di Sant’Antonino is dedicated to the town’s patron saint. Visit the church during a walking tour of the city to view the sumptuous interiors, St. Antonius’s crypt, and votive offerings of sailors who survived shipwrecks thanks to the intervention of this saint, the patron of rescues.
The original Basilica di Sant’Antonino was built in the 11th century, but numerous changes have been made over the centuries, including the addition of a baroque interior and Renaissance facade and belltower.
The best way to visit the church and explore Sorrento’s other top attractions is by joining a small-group walking tour. Wander the picturesque lanes lined with artisan workshops and boutiques and visit the Basilica di Sant’Antonino as well as the Church of San Francesco, Corso Italia, and Piazza Tasso. Sorrento is also a popular day-trip destination from Naples and the Amalfi Coast.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Photography is permitted inside the Basilica di Sant’Antonino.
- Modest attire covering shoulders and knees is required to enter the church.
- Visiting the basilica and town requires a bit of walking, so wear comfortable shoes, a hat, and sunscreen.
- The basilica has a number of steps at the entrance and is not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Basilica di Sant’Antonino is located along the main street, Corso Italia, in the center of Sorrento. From Marina Piccola, you can either walk up the hill or take a local bus or taxi. The city's transport hub is Piazza Tasso, just a short walk from the basilica, where buses connect to the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and Herculaneum, and Naples.
When to Get There
The Basilica di Sant’Antonino is particularly interesting to visit on February 14, when the town celebrates the saint’s feast day with religious services and processions. The church also offers a cool respite from southern Italy’s midday heat in the summer.
Legends of Sant’Antonino
Most statues of St. Antonius depict him standing on a sea creature, representing his rescue of a child who had been swallowed by a whale; the two whalebones displayed in the church are said to come from this very creature. Another legend says that the Archangel Michael appeared to Antonino and told him to build a church in Sorrento. In the 11th century, this ancient chapel was replaced with the current basilica, though St. Antonius’s crypt inside was rebuilt in the 18th century.