The Sorrento hop-on hop-off Guide
Exploring Italy's most picturesque peninsula in a day...
Wherever you go in Sorrento, you’ll see glimpses of the magnificent view across the bay to the city of Naples. This charming seaside resort is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. It’s a town full of ancient history and picturesque scenery, friendly people and an unspoilt, simple charm that is missing in many of the Mediterranean’s many seaside resorts. Here, life carries on as it has for centuries. You’ll find lush green parks, beautiful Italian villas, rows of orange, lemon and olive groves and picturesque narrow streets just waiting to be explored. The weather is sublime and Sorrento’s rustic seaside appeal just adds to its delight.
The town curves around the coastline, which is carved into rugged cliffs, a haven of sunshine and Italian authenticity, home to quaint little houses packed together in a maze of medieval alleyways, uneven cobbled streets and overhanging balconies. This is Italy at its most beautiful, with Mount Vesuvius looming to the west and on a clear day, you can even see the magical Island of Capri just off the tip of the peninsula.
Explore this fascinating town’s narrow streets and visit its churches, shops, restaurants, museums, all the while soaking up some magnificent views. To discover Sorrento’s history, culture and traditions in a truly fun and enjoyable way, take the exciting Hop On Hop Off sightseeing tour on a red double decker bus... Starting from Piazza Lauro, you pass through Sant’Angelo en route to Massa Lubrense, travel along the narrow streets, stopping along the way so that you can hop off and explore. You will eventually reach high terraces with panoramic views overlooking the Gulf of Naples, all the way to the Isle of Capri, with Mount Vesuvius as your backdrop.
Wherever you stop along the way, you’ll be charmed and delighted by this magical part of Italy, its spectacular scenery, atmosphere and traditions.
How much does it cost?
At the time of writing, a 24 hours unlimited travel ticket costs US$ 16 for an adult and US$ 8 for a child (5 – 10)
9.30am and every 2 hours after that – 11.30, 1.30 and 3.30pm
Tour is 105 minutes (1 hour 45 min) long.
Places to see and things to do along the route
A beautiful video introduction to Sorrento
1. The tour starts from tiny Piazza de Curtis, near Corso Italia, in the centre of Sorrento’s historic old town. The square is lined with restaurants, cafes and shops (mainly on neighboring Piazza Angelina Lauro), and there are quite a few places-of-interest within a short walk from here… From Corso Italia, take a pleasant 5-minutes' stroll down Via San Francesco, and pass beautiful Piazza Sant'Antonino, till you get to Piazza della Vittoria and the small seafront park of Villa Comunale, which is a tranquil respite from the busy surroundings, before proceeding through the beautiful cobblestone paved alleys to Marina Grande or Marina Piccola, Sorrento's extremely picturesque seafront promenades. Near Piazza della Vittoria you’ll find the remains of the ancient Temple of Venus, and the Church of San Francesco, which hosts concerts and art exhibitions in its cross-vaulted cloister.
You must also explore the area around Corso Italia, where the hop-on hop-off bus leaves from, also boasts some beautiful sightseeing spots that you should know of: Sedile Dominova, on Via San Cesareo (parallel to Corso Italia) is one of Sorrento's most impressive buildings, while the Romanesque Duomo (Sorrento's cathedral) on Corso Italia, dates back to the 15th Century and boasts some beautiful treasures including a marble bishop’s throne and stunning wooden choir stalls. You can also visit the Museo Correale di Terranova, located in an old palace that was donated to the city, where you can view the family’s private art collection, as well as masterpieces from the 16th to the 19th Centuries and an unusual clock collection.
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Corso Italia, Sorrento’s main street, is closed to traffic at night during the summer months, and people stroll along, shopping for designer fashion and other goods, or stopping off at the restaurants, cafes and pubs lining the street. Nearby is the Museobottega Della Tarsia Lignea, which houses an excellent collection of 19th Century furniture. It’s located in a palace that is decorated with magnificent 18th Century frescoes, so a visit here is a delight.
2. Hop off the bus at the next stop in Rione Cappuccini, located close to the ancient little town of Sant'Agnello, between Piano di Sorrento and Sorrento itself. This little town with its stately villas has been a popular seaside resort for Royalty and nobility for centuries. You can explore the Parco dei Principi, a lovely botanical garden first established in 1792 by a relative of the Royal Neapolitan Bourbon family. It’s now part of the hotel of the same name and offers stunning panoramic views across the bay.
There is a lot to see in Sant'Agnello, including the Palazzo del Municipio, the Town Hall, located in Piazza Matteotti, which is also home to a War Memorial. There’s also the Church of the Most Holy Prisco and Agnello, built in the early 19th Century and dedicated to the Virgin Mary’s Pure Heart., which contains some beautiful paintings. The heart of the town is bustling Piazza Sant'Agnello, which is also great fun to explore.
3. The next stop along the route is at Cocumella, giving you an opportunity to explore more of Corso Italia and Sorrento town centre.
4. Next stop along the route is at Largo Vescovado at the tip of the Sorrento Peninsula, where you can visit the fishing village of Massa Lubrense, located on a beautiful stretch of cape offering breathtaking views of the Island of Capri. This peaceful stretch of coastline is also home to a number of little hamlets and picturesque fishing villages, and you can explore on foot, winding through pretty olive and citrus groves. Nearby Marina di Puolo is full of seafront bars, restaurants and bathing beaches. From here you can take a boat to explore some stony beaches and coves further off the cape.
5. The bus stops at Piazzetta Santa Croce in the hamlet of Termini, a small village 10km from Sorrento. The square offers magnificent views over the Bay of Naples and the Isle of Capri. From Termini there are some excellent walking trails to nearby villages on the Sorrento Peninsula, as well as some pebble beaches and the Jeranto Bay National Park. You can also walk down to explore the Saracen forts at Punta Campanella, enjoy some excellent food in a number of restaurants in the vicinity, and spend some time at Marina del Cantone, which boasts a beach and a number of good trattorias.
6. The last stop along the route is at Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi, or St Agatha on the Two Gulfs, located at the top of an incline, from where the views of the Two Gulfs – the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno - are quite spectacular. Sant’Agata is part of the town of Massa Lubrense. In its main square is the Church of Saint Agatha, home to a former Carmelite Convent known as the Desert. Inside you can see a magnificent 17th Century altar, decorated with mother of pearl and marble. Sant’Agata is famous for its excellent traditional food. The area’s lemon is cultivated for its aromatic peel, used in many ways in the local cuisine s
And here is something that is well worth knowing about: Taking a hop-on, hop-off bus tour is one the best ways to explore any large city, as it saves you lots of precious holiday time and takes you EXACTLY to those places you really want to visit... (Not to mention the great views you can enjoy from the open top...).
We have dozens of free "Hop on hop off guides" that cover quite a few cities across the world, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Athens, Malta, Rome, Naples, Amsterdam, Brussels, London and many other destinations..... Simply click here to see them in a webpage format (with embeded videos), or here, to view and download them as eBooks (PDF format).
- Please read our Naples Hop-on Hop-off Guide