The original 16th century west wing of the Tramontano was a patrician noble residence, and the historical birthplace, on 11th March 1544, of the celebrated Italian poet Torquato Tasso,
author of "Jerusalem Delivered" and "Aminta". Plaques and marble busts within the hotel reception area and a shrine in its garden, which legend says Milton himself visited during his travels, are reminders of its links with this important literary figure. Sorrento's main square Piazza Tasso, bears his name and is the location of an impressive statue.
Other literary greats who have stayed at the hotel include Goethe, Byron, Scott, Keats, Shelley, De Musset, Lamartine, Leopardi and Longfellow. James Fenimore Cooper lived here while writing the "Water Witch", and Harriet Beecher Stowe received her inspiration to write "Agnes of Sorrento". Henrik Ibsen lived at the Tramontano for six months, and wrote
his immortal "Ghosts" during that time.