by Arielle Tan
During my European cruise last summer, I had the chance to visit 3 cities in Italy; The Vatican, Sorrento and Pompeii. Sorrento, a small city in the region of Naples, is definitively worth a visit even if it will only take you a few hours. Away from the busy cosmopolitan cities such as Rome, Milan and Florence, Sorrento has its very own charm. I visited the Piazza Tasso, the Cattedrale dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo and the Vallone dei Mulini with my sister and everything was beyond beautiful.
As its name suggests, the Piazza Tasso is the center market place of the city and it has everything you need: restaurants, shops, lounges and little markets. Don’t underestimate the small size of this city, as it is a real hub of activity. The streets are filled with local stores and local products and it is the perfect occasion to taste Sorrento’s specialty: the limoncello – a lemon-flavored hard liquor. Lemons are at the heart of the city and of its culture. You will see many local products either made with or having lemon references such as soaps, liquors, food, accessories and clothes.
Not too far from the center of the piazza is the gorgeous Cattedrale dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo. It was built in the 11th century before being rebuilt in the 15th century in Romanesque style. Upon entering, I was amazed by the wonderful marbles, the gorgeous painted ceiling, the frescoes, and their many marquetry. The cathedral’s ornate interior really shows the wealth in details of all its artworks. Don’t miss the diorama of the Nativity at the entrance!
The next stop is Sorrento’s truly hidden gem. My sister and I almost missed it as nobody told us to look out for it. I am talking about the Il Vallone dei Mulini (Depp Valley of the mills). While walking over a stream, we saw over the street’s railing an abandoned 10th century mill embraced by Mother Nature’s arms. It is a beautiful scenery (though some might find it a bit creepy).
If you ever get the opportunity to visit Naples, I really suggest you to visit the charming city of Sorrento. Little warning: even if there are a few beaches in this region, I don’t suggest you to do a tanning session since the fees to enter and to have a place on those beaches are very expensive. Leave your beach activities for Mykonos and embrace the Italian culture instead!