As an admirer of (and sucker for) great food, awe-inspiring views, and a heart-tingling European accent, I was truly enamored by the gem that is the south coast of Italy.
Sorrento is the sun-filled springboard and gateway to the coast’s other fawned after destinations. Whether you plan to stroll the cobblestone & terracotta covered streets of Amalfi or sail to the rocky fabled island of Capri, Sorrento is the perfect spot to start your pasta filled and bikini clad adventures.
In the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii to the North, Sorrento is a little slice of Italian heaven — authentic yet accommodating, refined yet still filled with that old-town feel. Sprinkled with the scent of lemon and olive groves, Sorrento offers a preserved old quarter, a vibrant town square, and inspiring Cliffside verandas.
For the sake of those planning to spend a few days in Sorrento, the city is broken into two areas, the old town and the coastal properties near the city’s two marinas. The old town is filled with the energy of tourists eating gelato and admiring the scenic vistas during the day. It then transforms into that of an old Fellini film with locals transcending on the square to leisurely drink wine, indulge in Italian delicacies, and fervently converse into the wee hours. As a female you will surely feel like something of a Sophia Loren with men (young and old) calling out “Ciao Bella” at every turn.
For an authentic stay, look no further than Palazzo Marziale, a landmark in its own right, perfectly centered in the heart of historical Sorrento. Overlooking the gardens of Piazza San Francesco. The property is housed in a restored 16th-century building, once the mansion of a Sorrentine patrician family. San Marziale, a heart-filled bed and breakfast with only 10 rooms, offers tastefully decorated lounges, spacious modern guest rooms, and a classical Italian garden-terrace. The structure has remained unchanged over time in its sophisticated charm. The furniture, and the rooms are perfectly preserved making it one of the rare examples of architecture Catalan-Durazzo still present in Campania.
Palazzo Marziale is within easy reach of the Marina Grande, with its ferry services to Capri, and the Marina Piccola, along with Sorrento’s most important landmarks and attractions, including the cathedral and the Santi Felice e Baccolo church.
Its restaurant, the Terrazza Marziale, offers a range of delicious dishes based on the flavors of traditional Mediterranean and Sorrentine cuisine, with the use of the highest quality ingredients from the Campania region.
Start your Italian retreat at Palazzo Marziale
Piazza Francesco Saverio Gargiulo, 2, 80067 Sorrento NA, Italy
http://www.palazzomarziale.com, Tel: +39 081 807 4406
Outside of old town Sorrento, you will find winding roads Cliffside looking over the deep cerulean blue ocean and a spattering of coastal villas and rocky beaches.
Overlooking the Bay of Naples, you will find a truly spectacular sanctuary in Grand Hotel Cocumella, a Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) property. Set in a 17th-century property overlooking the Sorrento Peninsula, the luxury boutique hotel sits right on the cliff edge in a quiet spot surrounded by wonderfully manicured gardens full of flowers and impressive views of Vesuvius. A truly divine experiences, expect monastic architecture, fine dining, a seclusive swimming pool, private beach, and trips on the hotel’s own tall ship.
Walnut furniture, old majolica, frescoed ceilings; gilded mirrors and antiques stamp the period finesse that blends with modern amenities in every guest room. The atmosphere at Grand Hotel Cocumella is inviting, warm, and truly one of a kind.
Start your day with a breakfast on your own terrace overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Spend the afternoon lunching under the fragrant orange trees poolside or charter the hotel yacht for a trip to Capri. On your return, you can play tennis or walk in Grand Hotel Cocumella’s beautiful grounds through wisteria, roses, camellias, geraniums and magnolias. In the evenings, Scintilla Restaurant serves Mediterranean haute cuisine, or, during the summer try the vibrant Coku, a Japanese-Mediterranean fusion restaurant.
The elegant rooms and suites feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, sitting areas and minibars, as well as marble bathrooms. Suites add separate lounges, plus sea- or garden-view terraces; some have whirlpool tubs.
The Grand Hotel Cocumella of Sorrento is an point of peace and beauty in the heart of the Sorrento Peninsula on the Amalfi Coast. The first five star luxury hotel on the Coast of the Mermaids is a shelter beloved by artists, nobility, travelers and conossueirs alike.
From the hotel you can effortlessly discover the Amalfi Coast, the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the Islands of Capri and Ischia, and all the facets of Naples.
Plan you visit:
Grand Hotel Cocumella
Via Cocumella, 7, 80065 Sant’Agnello NA, Italy
Phone: +39 081 878 2933
Museo Correale – East of the city center, this museum is worth the excursion. An abundant assortment of 17th- to 19th-century Neapolitan art and crafts, Japanese, Chinese and European ceramics, clocks, furniture and Greek and Roman artifacts can be found.
Marina Grande – Sorrento’s version of a beach, this vibrant marina is perfect for lolling in the sun on deckchairs along the jetty or just admiring the pastel-colored houses and boldly painted boats. Grab a bite at one of the local restaurants filled with the morning’s fresh catch by the same fisherman mending nets a few steps away.
Centro Storico – the bustling city center is positioned along Corso Italia and is the hub for locals and travellers alike. Restuarants, bars, and shops are dispersed along the neighborhood filled in by narrow cobbled back streets, piazzas and hidden churches.
Chiesa di San Francesco – Located next to the Villa Comunale Park, this church is one of the most popular destinations in Sorrento. The beautiful cloisters feature Arabic portico and interlaced arches and striking pillars. The church also plays host to summer concerts and art exhibitions with world-class talent. Via San Francesco.
Photos: Alexandra Taylor