All posts by Richard Edwards

Villa Dei Misteri Wine

A fascinating insight into a project by the Soprintendenza Archeologica and Società Mastroberardino that reintroduced wine growing in an experimental vineyard area within the ruins of Pompeii. It followed the discovery of root casts during excavations and the project aimed to highlight the ancient cultural roots possessed and passed down by this city. The project started in March 1996 and in 2001 the first wine coming from ancient Pompeii vineyards was produced, following the first significant harvesting, vinification and ageing in wooden casks by the Mastroberardino family.

The video is presented by Piero Mastroberardino whose family is recognized as the champion of the native vines of Irpinia and Campania, where it has been operating since the early 18th century. With 250 hectares of agricultural estates located in Irpinia, home of three DOCGs: Taurasi, Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino, they aim to preserve their identity, continuity and development of indigenous viticulture.

More details about the project and the Mastroberardino vineyards can be found on their website.

Credits
Mastroberardino Website

Acqu’e Sale

Antonino Esposito, owner of Acqu’e Sale, prepares a fried pizza baked in the oven and embellished with tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil. You’ll find his restaurant in Marina Piccolo.

Credits
Aqua’e Sale Website

Marcello Aversa

Marcello Aversa creates beautifully intricate clay sculptures which include village scenes as well as traditional Nativity and other religious themes. They represent moments of religious significance and everyday activity, capturing emotions of those portrayed in settings from centuries past. This video by Daniele Lancieri provides a glimpse of the artist at work in his studio. There are no English captions but the images tell the story and our feature provides more information about Marcello.

Marcello Aversa Video

Credits
Marcello Aversa Website

Sorrento walking tour

This video takes you on a gentle stroll through the streets and lanes of Sorrento, down to Marina Grande and Marina Piccola. It is a wonderful introduction to the main places of interest. Prowalk Tours have an excellent library of other walks including Amalfi, Naples, Vesuvius, Pompeii and Herculaneum which can be viewed on their YouTube channel, see link below.

Credits
Prowalk Tours YouTube Channel


Sorrento Holidays

Luxury rental – Positano

This beautiful 17th century luxury villa enjoys a panoramic position overlooking Positano. The property, enriched by works of art and a wonderful garden, is a unique gem and has already been chosen in the past by celebrities such as Armani, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel and Madonna for their Italian vacations.The historic centre and the beach can be reached on foot in less than five minutes. Full details on this and other properties can be found on the link below. In the meantime, we’ll let Danilo take you on a personal tour of this amazing rental property.

Credits
Romolini Immobiliare Property details

Dream Properties

How often do you get the opportunity to buy a vineyard on the Amalfi coast?

Here’s an organic winery with 6 hectares of vineyards, 2 of olive groves and 2 of lemon groves on a cliff overlooking the sea. It is located outside Maiori on the Amalfi Coast just one hour from Positano and one hour 30 minutes from Sorrento. There are also several stone and masonry buildings on the property offering opportunities for restoration and development of an Agriturismo business. Full details on this and other properties can be found on the link below. In the meantime, we’ll let Danilo take you on a personal tour of this wonderful location.

Credits
Romolini Immobiliare Property details

Ravello Music Festival

This video blends the breath-taking setting of Ravello with preparations for an outdoor concert at the Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium high above the Amalfi coast. Concerts take place from April to November and the Ravello Festival programme of events can be seen on their website.

Ravello Music Festival Concerts

Credits
Fondazione Ravello | Ravello Festival
Website

Path of the Gods

Enjoy the dramatic and breath taking scenery to be experienced on a walk along the Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli dei), high in the Lattari mountains overlooking the Amalfi coast. The background music brings an added dimension to a landscape of myths and legends.

This is one of number of videos produced by Giovanni Visetti who is a professional walking guide and cartographer with unrivalled knowledge of this area. Although recently retired his website still provides an incredible source of information including detailed maps for walkers.

Path of the Gods Amalfi coast

Credits
Giovanni Visetti
Main website
Path of the Gods details.

Giovanni Visetti

Island of Procida

This promotional video by Procida TV includes excellent views of Procida. After the glitz and glamour of Capri and the spas and gardens of Ischia, Procida offers visitors a unique charm and relaxed environment just a ferry ride from the tourist hot spots. There are ferries from Naples, Pozzuoli and Ischia (for island hoppers) or you can book a boat tour from Sorrento with visits to Ischia and Procida. For more information about visiting Procida please read this review by one of our members.

Island of Procida just off Naples

Credits
Procida TV
Website


Sorrento Holidays

Amalfi coast cruise

This promotional video for Exclusive Cruises provides a tantalising glimpse of the Amalfi coastline and its islands. The picturesque towns of Positano, Furore, Amalfi, Praiano, Atrani, Marina del Cantone and Capri all nestled between the dramatic cliffs and hidden coves waiting to be explored. We leave the rest to your imagination.

Exclusive Cruises Amalfi Coast

Credits
Exclusive Cruises
Website

Chef Carmen

Chef Carmen is a trained Master Chef with many years of experience and passion. The school was featured in the American Food Network’s “Recipe for Success”, as one of the most successful cooking vacation in the South of Italy and is considered to be a leader. As well as providing cooking classes for visitors to Sorrento, Chef Carmen offers live online classes for a range of traditional Neapolitan meals in your own kitchen.

To see Chef Carmen “in action” here is video of her making a Fettuccine alla bolognese from the kitchen of her Cooking School in Sorrento. Buon appetito!

Friends of Sorrento Videos

Credits
Chef Carmen Cooking School


Sorrento Holidays

Pacchero with tomato sauce

Top chefs in Sorrento are obviously masters of their skills with a respect and passion for the ingredients and regional influences, seasoned perhaps with life experiences and memories. This can be demonstrated, in my opinion, by this video showing the preparation of the pasta dish, Pacchero with tomato sauce, by two top Chefs, Marco Parizzi from Parizzi di Parma and Giuseppe Aversa from Il Buco in Sorrento.

Enjoy Chef Aversa’s presentation which is full of humour, passion and respect for ingredients from the south. There are English subtitles.

Giuseppe Aversa Il Buco Restaurant Sorrento

This video was produced as part of a centenary celebration for Pasta Di Martino, a pasta making company. It is located in the town of Gragnano, world famous for the production of dried pasta and home for numerous manufacturers. Some provide factory tours and tastings for visitors and Gragnano is only 25 km from Sorrento.
pasta-tubes

Credits
Marco Parizzi from Parizzi di Parma
Giuseppe Aversa from Il Buco in Sorrento
Pasta Di Martino


Sorrento Holidays

Marcello Aversa Studio d’Arte

Marcello Aversa Studio d'Arte

Marcello Aversa’s gallery and workshop is located in one of Sorrento’s typical narrow lanes running off the Corsa Italia just a minute’s walk from the Cathedral. There in small shrine-like windows you will find beautifully intricate clay sculptures similar to the example above. The closer you look the more you discover and begin to appreciate the work involved.

Marcello Aversa at his workbench in Sorrento

These creations in clay are incredible examples of patience and devotion as well as skill and attention to the finest details. It is the ‘Art of Presepio’ which includes village scenes as well as traditional Nativity and other religious themes. They represent moments of religious significance and everyday activity, capturing emotions of those portrayed in settings from centuries past. Stonework, foliage, clothing, household items, food baskets and animals, nothing misses the artist’s eye.

Marcello’s website includes a wonderful collection of images which enable the viewer to ‘get in close’ and discover the intricacies of each work, view here. His work can be seen in Sorrento’s Cathedral and in private and public collections throughout the world. This video by Daniele Lancieri provides a glimpse of the artist at work in his studio.

Marcello Aversa Video

The Art Studio

Marcello Aversa Studio Sorrento

Marcello’s association with clay goes back to his family’s work at the brick making furnaces in Maiano, 2.5 km from his studio. Brick making activity in Maiano dates back to the 15th century and the particular characteristics of the red Maiano bricks are renowned throughout Italy. There used to be several furnaces, now only two remain. It is this erosion of long lost skills that makes him so passionate about preserving traditional and encouraging new craft skills in the region. For this purpose he provides space in his gallery to exhibit original works of art from a range of artists and designers. Here is a small selection and more examples can be viewed on Marcello Aversa’s Studio d’Arte facebook page.

Marcello Aversa Art Studio
Marcello Aversa Art Studio
Marcello Aversa Art Studio Sorrento

Beyond this exhibition space lies another ambition, which is to help establish a permanent indigenous crafts centre in Maiano to preserve and develop traditional skills and inform visitors about the role the furnaces played in ‘building’ communities throughout Italy. A centre built with Maiano bricks and tiles would certainly be a fitting tribute to generations of skilled craftsmen in this region. We wish Marcello every success.

"cretai′′ of Maiano

Marcello Aversa
3 Via Antonino Sersale
Sorrento

Website
Facebook

Things to do in Sorrento

Places to see in Sorrento and Amalfi

Walking tour of Sorrento

For first time visitors to Sorrento and the Amalfi coast we have listed our top list of attractions and locations that will provide an introduction to the history, culture and beauty of this remarkable region

Most of the historic attractions are within a 500 m radius of the main Tasso Square which is the suggested starting point for our quick guide for visitors. In the square, behind the statue of Torquato Tasso and next to the Florist, is a narrow lane (Via S M Pietà) where on the corner you will find the Correale House, and further along the Correale Palace, the Veniero Palace and the Fifteenth Century House. At the end of the lane you find the Bishop’s Palace, Cathedral Belltower and the Cathedral itself.

Continue past the Cathedral alongside the main street (Corso Italia) until you come to the first turning on your left which is Via Sersale and this will take you to the ‘Greek’ Walls, now restored and accessible to the public. Retrace your steps to Corsa Italia and on your left is the Church of the Servants of Mary, if you then return past the Cathedral until the Bell Tower you can cross the road into the narrow lane directly opposite (Via P R Giuliani) to find the Dominova Seat. Continue down Via P R Giuliani until Via V Veneto and turn left past the Hotel Tramontano to find the House of Tasso (actually part of the hotel Tramontano) on the Piazza Vittoria.

Walking back past the Hotel Tramontano’s main entrance will bring you to the Church and Cloister of Saint Francis on the first turning left. Coming out of here turn left and follow Via S Francesco until Piazza S’Antonino to find the Basilica of St.Antonino. Continue along this road to return to the starting point on the main Piazza Tasso where you will be able to see the Sancturary Of Carmine just past the entrance to the Excelsior Vittoria Hotel.

The Correale Museum on the Via Correale, five minutes from Piazza Tasso, and the Wood Inlay Museum (Museobottega della Tarsialignea) on Via S Nicola in Sorrento’s historic centre, both provide an excellent overview of the art, history and culture of Sorrento. Other churches to be discovered in the historic centre include the Church of Annunciation (Via Fuoro), Church of the Rosary (near Via Torquato Tasso) the Church of St Mary and the Miracles (Via S M delle Grazie).

Marina Grande is Sorrento’s traditional fishing harbour in a beautiful and tranquil setting where you can spend a couple of hours just relaxing and enjoying the view across to Naples and Vesuvius. The restaurants and cafes on the water’s edge offer a selection of traditional snacks and fresh fish dishes.

The walk down from the Piassa Tasso is in itself an enjoyable experience through bougainvillea covered lanes, down ancient steps and passages that lead to a delightful view of the harbour. For the less mobile there is also a regular bus service from the Piazza Tasso to the harbour.

Every evening offers the opportunity to take part in one of Italy’s most popular pastimes for all ages and that is the Passegiatta. Simply take a walk along the main streets and enjoy the friendly and family atmosphere as people browse the shop windows, the majority of which stay open until 10.00 pm, or sit outside a bar, cafe or ice cream parlour and watch the world go by. This is the place to see and be seen so dress accordingly, particularly on the weekends. Sorrento centre is a very safe and family friendly place to spend evenings.

Villa Comunale is Sorrento’s largest public park and sits on a cliff top with uninterrupted panoramic views across the Bay of Naples including Vesuvius, Naples and towards Capri. Tropical plants, palm trees and statues make it a comfortable shaded place to just sit and watch the world go by. For the more adventurous there are steps that zig zag down to Sorrento’s main harbour, Marina Piccola, and also private bathing platforms. A more recent and easier option is the lift. Entrance to the park is in front of the Cloisters of St Francis close to the hotel Tramontano.

Massa Lubrense and Sant Agnello

A ten minute bus ride will take you from the bustling centre of Sorrento to Massa Lubrense, a pleasant coastal town with a fishing harbour and small beaches, Puolo and La Cala di Puolo. This small town together with a number of other villages are located in the beautiful unspoilt countryside of the Sorrentine Peninsula with its magnificent views. Many of these villages are linked by a number of ‘well marked’ walking trails as well as regular bus service. Here is a list of villages to be considered.

Capo Ruins of Villa di Pollius Felix ruins, ‘Bath of Queen Joan’ sea pool.
Sant’Agata Mountain village with excellent views from the ‘Desert’.
Nerano Pleasant village and start for a number of walking trails and a beach.
Marina del Cantone Beach and views of Li Galli (Home of the mythical Sirens).
Termini Village with views of Capri and access to La Cala di Mitigliano beach.
Marina di Puolo Pleasant fishing village and beach.
Marina della Lobra Picturesque fishing village with small beach.

More information about walks, including maps and guides, can be found in the Activities section. There is also a ‘Country Tour’ which visits some of these towns and villages and provides the opportunity to stop and sample local produce. More details in the Excursions section.

A thirty minute walk, or five minute bus ride, from the centre of Sorrento will take you to the town of Sant Agnello, a residential area with attractive buildings and shops. Just follow the main street, Corsa Italia, from Tasso Square and you will begin to experience everyday life in Sorrento (the road narrows in one or two places and needs extra precaution). After a light lunch you can return using a different and quieter route which goes through the residential area and offers a number of cliff top viewing points. In particular, the terrace directly opposite the Mediterraneo hotel where there is also a cafe. Eventually you pass the Correale Museum and follow the Via Correale back to Piazza Tasso.

Amalfi Drive

For the first time visitor the Amalfi Drive excursion offers a comfortable and informative way of experiencing the breathtaking scenery along the infamous Amalfi coast road and also to visit Amalfi and Ravello. Amalfi has its Cathedral, beach and ‘Emerald Grotto’ and Ravello its Cathedral, villas, gardens and of course fantastic views. The journey also provides superb views of Capri and Il Galli rocks, where the mythological Sirens lived according to the legendary story of Odysseus.

Other towns you will pass or be able to view from a distance include:

Positano Perched on the mountain side with its Cathedral, boutiques and beach.
Priano San Luca church, beaches, diving, tranquil setting and panoramic views.
Conca dei Marini Emerald Grotto, convent of St Rosa and the Conca tower.
Atrani Just 700 m from Amalfi, typical fishermen’s town with Cathedral.
Scala Quiet village overlooking Ravello with Cathedral and vineyards.
Minori A delightful seaside resort, Roman villa ruins, Basilica and churches.
Maiori Largest seaside resort on Amalfi coast. Long volcanic beach.

Pompeii

Sorrento is only 45 minutes from Pompeii and provides visitors with the perfect opportunity to visit this world famous archaeological site to see how people lived in 79 AD at the time Mount Vesuvius erupted and engulfed Pompeii. There are countless books, TV documentaries and images about Pompeii but nothing comes close to actually walking through the town with Vesuvius in the background.

A guided tour is recommended to help ensure you see and obtain factual information about the main attractions of this very large site. The air conditioned coach is also a benefit for the return journey to Sorrento after two or more hours walking with very little shade.

Pompeii, Vesuvius, Herculaneum and Naples and easily accessible from Sorrento by public transport or with an organised tours. Friends of Sorrento offers a comprehensive selection of excursions which can be viewed here.

The island of Capri

The beautiful island of Capri is just a short ferry crossing from the port of Sorrento (Marina Piccolo) which in itself provides wonderful views of the Sorrento coastline as you sail to Capri’s harbour. On the island you can explore the towns of Capri and Anacapri, visit the Axel Munthe museum at the Villa San Michele, walk to the Roman ruins, take a cable car to the top of the island or take a boat to the Blue Grotto under the island. There is much to see including a street full of exclusive fashion designers. If the thought of purchasing tickets, getting around the island or missing the last boat back bothers you, try an organised tour which includes transfers from and to your hotel in Sorrento.

Buona giornata


Sorrento Holiday Offers

La Dolce Vita

Experience 8 days of La Dolce Vita with tours to Pompeii, the Amalfi coast, Capri and Naples together with time to relax and explore Sorrento itself and its many attractions. The private transfer to your hotel will provide a tantalising glimpse of places to be visited and views to be enjoyed with cocktails on the terraces. Friends of Sorrento will provide recommendations for restaurants, walks and events based on your personal preferences and will be available to offer advice and assistance throughout your stay.


What’s included

  • Flights from UK airports to Naples
  • ABTA and ATOL protection
  • 4/5* Hotels
  • Room upgrades and half board options
  • Private transfers from Naples airport
  • Private tour of the Amalfi coast with visits to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello
  • Guided tour of Naples
  • Guided tour of Pompeii with wine tasting
  • Guided tour of Capri
  • Optional tours and activities, see list below
  • Friends of Sorrento support before and during visit

Availability
1 to 8 May 2021.
Price from £ 1695.00 pp based on two adults sharing a double room.
Other dates available on request


Day One

Welcomed at Naples airport where your driver will be waiting to take you to the hotel. Sit back and enjoy beautiful views across the Bay of Naples as you drive through Castellammare di Stabia, Vico Equense, Meta, Piano di Sorrento and Sant’Agnello’

Evening: Free time.


Day Two

pompeii-vesuvius

We start with a guided tour of the remarkable archaeological site of Pompeii. It seems a contradiction that the destructive forces released by Vesuvius not only destroyed and preserved Pompeii but also created a very fertile soil which has helped produce beautiful fruit, vegetables and vines. After the walking tour, we will visit a vineyard for wine tasting and lunch.

Evening: Free time.


Day Three

Marina Grande Sorrento

Culture vultures may want an optional morning tour of Herculaneum or you could enjoy a relaxing day to explore the maze of narrow lanes in Sorrento with its myriad of shops and historic buildings. The fishing harbour in Marina Grande provides a perfect end to a pleasant stroll from the town centre and offers a wonderful choice of restaurants along the small beach and promenade. It’s a superb location for an alfresco lunch or dinner.

On the subject of food, why not book an optional Cooking Class in the morning or afternoon and learn some of the secrets for a perfect pasta dish. Play video.

Chef Carmen Cooking School.


Day Four

Amalfi Coast

It’s 9.00 am and your driver will be waiting at your hotel to take you on a private tour of the Amalfi coast with visits to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Try to resist the temptation to stay too long in Positano if you want to explore Amalfi and Ravello at a leisurely pace. Recommendations for restaurants will be available and booked if required.

Evening: Free time to continue your exploration of the many hidden gems in historic Sorrento including museums, restaurants, boutiques and tasting limoncello in its many forms, including gelato. Find a spot where you can witness the twinkling lights of Naples across the bay where you will visit tomorrow.


Day Five

Streets in Naples
A guided tour of Naples and an introduction to the fabric and daily life of this exciting and vibrant city with a chance to see its incredible architecture and sculptures. After an authentic Neapolitan pizza you will visit the Piazza del Plebiscito and take coffee at the famous Gran Caffè Gambrinus.

The photographs show the Spaccanapoli (Literal meaning: Naples splitter) which is the straight and narrow main street that traverses the old, historic centre of the city.

Evening: Take a Passeggiata through Sorrento to absorb its vibrant and friendly atmosphere.


Day Six

View of the island of Capri

Another free day to explore beyond the centre of Sorrento and take a walk to Piano di Sorrento or a 10 minute bus ride to Vico Equense and Meta di Sorrento, each with their own attractions. Take a bus in the opposite direction to some of the villages on the Peninsular, including Sant’Agata and Masa Lubrense, and enjoy local cuisine in one of the many trattorias with views of the Neapolitan Riviera. Bus tickets and timetables? Not a problem, the Sorrento office will provide all the information needed and if required organise optional tours and activities, see below.


Day Seven

Island of Capri

Today we cross the Bay of Naples for a guided tour of Capri and Anacapri with opportunities to visit Villa San Michele, take the chair lift to the highest point of the island at 600 metres or enjoy breathtaking views from the Gardens of Augustus. In the famous “Piazzetta” of Capri be amazed by the exclusive boutiques and if time and weather permits, you can take a boat ride to the Blue Grotto.

Evening: Free time


Day Eight

In seven days you would have experienced Pompeii, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Capri and Naples and perhaps learned the secrets of perfect pasta making, tasted some of the best wines and cuisine in the region. It’s time to relax and just enjoy the moment before your private transfer to the airport.


Hotels

Here is a small selection of hotels available including traditional, contemporary or smaller boutique style depending on your preference for character, views and location. Details and images of these and other hotels can be seen on our featured hotels page.
Subject to availability at time of booking.

Tramontano Hotel Sorrento

4* Tramontano

Central, cliff edge location, superb views across Bay of Naples

Ambasciatori Hotel Sorrento

5* Ambasciatori

Cliff edge location with superb views across Bay, 10 mins walk from centre

Plaza Hotel Sorrento

4* Plaza

A few steps to the main square, roof top pool and cocktail bar


Optional tours and activities

Half day guided tour of Herculaneum
Paestum and the Greek temples
Guided tour of the island of Ischia and the magical Mortella Gardens
Cruise along the Amalfi coast or around Capri
Sunset cruise with cocktails
Cooking class


Further details

To express an interest in this holiday please use the form below or phone: +44 (0) 1446 771220.

reCAPTCHA is required.

Friends of Sorrento in partnership with Sam Smith Travel

L’Orangerie Restaurant

excelsior-vittoria-orangerie

A touch of Magic at the Excelsior Vittoria

Perhaps it’s a special occasion or the last night of the vacation and you would like somewhere very special to wine and dine. So consider this recommendation.

On the main square, Piazza Tasso, there is a wisteria covered entrance to the 5* Grand Excelsior Vittoria Hotel with its long pathway tempting visitors with a glimpse of hidden treasure at the end. A treasure under the watchful eye of the gateman.

In the hotel’s secluded garden is one of their restaurants, L’Orangerie, where you can eat ‘al fresco’ throughout the summer in a beautifully natural and chic setting.

Book a table at L’Orangerie for 8.30 – 9.00 pm but arrive around 7 pm to take a stroll down that pathway and discover those treasures. This will lead you down steps to the main entrance and through a lobby perfect for a 1920’s romantic novel.

“You can almost hear the charlston music and clink of champagne glasses”

Continue straight ahead to the open terrace. In this timeless setting choose a table, order an aperitif and experience a sunset over the bay of Naples.

exvit_hall

The sun has retired, Naples twinkles under the shadow of Vesuvius and it’s already 8.30. Time to make your way to the restaurant. At the top of the steps take the walkway on the left to the pool which leads to L’Orangerie. The pool lighting and Bar sets the atmosphere for something special.

Excelsior Vittoria pool

For a 5 star hotel the cuisine and level of service is to be expected but there was one thing that particularly caught my attention, their Orangerie Boule dessert!

If I show or describe it the surprise will be lost. All I can say is to keep looking at your plate as the waiter performs what seems like a touch of magic.

This recommendation offers an opportunity to explore and experience this wonderful hotel as part of a very pleasant evening together. Enjoy its magic.

For more information view L’Orangerie’s webpage. While you are on the seafront terrace you can see their Michelin starred gourmet restaurant ‘Terrazza Bosquet’. Another time perhaps?

Sorrento Cooking Class Online

Chef Carmen Online Cooking Class

Imagine being able to invite a top Italian chef to help prepare an authentic Neapolitan meal in your kitchen. Dream no longer, because recent developments in live communication technology now makes this possible.

Chef Carmen is one of many talented cooks in Sorrento and runs a very successful Cooking School which was featured in the American Food Network’s “Recipe for Success”, as one of the most successful cooking vacation in the South of Italy. Her character, humour, patience and boundless energy makes cooking even more enjoyable.

If you have already used the ZOOM app for socialising online then it is as simple as booking a session, selecting the dishes of your choice and stocking up on the required ingredients. A bottle of your favourite Italian wine will also be a useful addition during proceedings. You will need all the ingredients to hand with necessary kitchen tools ready 5 minutes before logging on.

There are 4 live online classes available a week at 18.30 Italian time (17.30 UK) and last 2.5 hours. A minimum number of two participants are required for a class to take place and here’s an example of the choice of dishes available for the classes. Check the website for the latest menus.

Chef Carmen online meal one

Monday
Potatoes Gnocchi Sorrento Style
Traditional & Lemon “Tiramisu” Cake


Chef Carmen online meal two

Wednesday
Ravioli Caprese
Chicken Roll Genovese Style


Chef Carmen online meal three

Friday
Pizza Margherita
Eggplant/Aubergine Parmigiana


Chef Carmen online meal four

Sunday
Fettuccine Bolognese
Fish fillett in potatoes crust & Acqua Pazza


Unless you wish to keep your new found culinary skills a secret you could organise a private class for family or friends with a minimum of 8 participants. Private classes are available on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The cost is 30.00 euros per person and full details can be seen on Chef Carmen’s website. For those who are not familiar with the Zoom App, here is the website. A good internet connection to your kitchen is essential.

To see Chef Carmen “in action” here is short video on making pasta taking place from the kitchen of her Cooking School in Sorrento. Buon appetito!

Friends of Sorrento Videos

Sorrento + Gardens

La Mortella Gardens

Sorrento’s streets are full of trees dripping with oranges and lemons, tall palms rise above buildings and provide shade for the piazzas. Bougainvillea cascades everywhere and each piece of spare ground seems to support an olive or lemon grove. Flower pots are found at entrances, balconies, rooftops and courtyards and all these add colour to an already colourful town. Add to this parks and public gardens to be found on the Amalfi coast, Ischia, Capri and Caserta and you have the perfect destination for lovers of plants and gardens.


What’s included

  • Flights from UK airports to Naples
  • 4* Hotel
  • Room upgrades
  • ABTA and ATOL protection
  • Private transfers from Naples airport
  • Amalfi coast with visits to Villa Cimbrone and Rufolo in Ravello
  • Ischia with visit to La Mortella gardens.
  • Caserta Palance and the English Gardens
  • Capri with visits to the Augustus Garden and Villa San Michele
  • Optional tours and activities, see list below
  • Breakfasts, 3 three course lunches, farewell ‘Torna Presto’ dinner
  • Friends of Sorrento support before and during visit

Availability
May and September 2021
Price from £1995.00 pp based on two people sharing a double room.
Group size: Minimum 10 and maximum 18 adults


Day One

Welcomed at Naples airport where your driver will be waiting to take you to the hotel. Sit back and enjoy beautiful views across the Bay of Naples as you drive through Castellammare di Stabia, Vico Equense, Meta, Piano di Sorrento and Sant’Agnello’

Evening: Free time.


Day Two

Villa Rufolo Gardens

After a relaxing full breakfast the day begins with a drive along the Amalfi coast with time to visit ‘picture postcard’ Positano to explore its web of narrow streets with exclusive boutiques and galleries all leading down to the beach. From this level you will really appreciate the beauty of this unique location and enjoy a cappuccino before returning to the coach. Sit back and enjoy the views as you wind your way to Ravello where the garden paths at Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo waiting to be explored.

Evening: Free time.


Day Three

Mortella Gardens

A ferry takes you across the Bay of Naples for a tour around the ‘Green’ island of Ischia including the magnificent panorama of the “Bay of Citara” and a guided tour of the magical Mortella Gardens.

Evening: Free time.


Day Four

Marina Grande Sorrento

A free day to explore the maze of narrow lanes in Sorrento with its myriad of shops and historic buildings or take one of our optional tours and activities, see list below. The fishing harbour in Marina Grande provides a perfect end to a pleasant stroll from the town centre and offers a wonderful choice of restaurants along the small beach and promenade. It’s a superb location for an alfresco lunch or dinner.

On the subject of food, why not book an optional Cooking Class in the morning or afternoon and learn some of the secrets for a perfect pasta dish. Play video.

Chef Carmen Cooking School.

Evening: Free time.


Day Five

Caserta Palace and Parks

A full day to explore the magnificent 18th century Royal Palace (Reggia) which is a listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and often referred to as the Versailles of Naples. Spend the morning exploring the grand rooms, some of which have been used for several famous movies such as Star Wars, Angels and Demons and Mission Impossible III.

In the afternoon you can enjoy the park with its waterfalls, lakes and the very famous English garden. Perfect settings for an Italian style picnic which you could prepare the night before from the Patisserie ‘Bar Rita’ which is just two minutes from Sorrento’s main square.

Evening: Free time to explore Sorrento.


Day Six

Island  of Capri

Today we cross the Bay of Naples for a guided tour of Capri and Anacapri with opportunities to visit Villa San Michele, take the chair lift to the highest point of the island at 600 metres or enjoy breathtaking views from the Gardens of Augustus. In the famous “Piazzetta” of Capri be amazed by the exclusive boutiques and if time and weather permits, you can take a boat ride to the Blue Grotto.

Evening: ‘Torna Presto/Come back soon’ dinner in one of our favourite restaurants.


Day Seven

Vesuvius and Bay of Naples

A day for doing your own thing and to take a walk to Piano di Sorrento or a 10 minute bus ride to Vico Equense and Meta di Sorrento, each with their own attractions. Take a bus in the opposite direction to some of the villages on the Peninsular, including Sant’Agata and Masa Lubrense, and enjoy local cuisine in one of the many trattorias with views of the Neapolitan Riviera. The Sorrento office will provide all the information needed.

You could also consider taking one of our optional tours and activities including a mini cruise along the Amalfi coast or guided tours to Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum or Vesuvius.

Evening: Free time.


Day Eight

In seven days you would have visited beautiful gardens and parks as well as opportunities to explore Pompeii, Positano and Naples. It’s time to relax and just enjoy the moment before your private transfer to the airport.


Hotels

Here is a small selection of hotels available including traditional, contemporary or smaller boutique style depending on your preference for character, views and location. Details and images of these and other hotels can be seen on our featured hotels page.
Subject to availability at time of booking.

Tramontano Hotel Sorrento

4* Tramontano

Central, cliff edge location, superb views across Bay of Naples

Ambasciatori Hotel Sorrento

5* Ambasciatori

Cliff edge location with superb views across Bay, 10 mins walk from centre

Corallo Hotel Sant'Agnello

4* Corallo

Located in Sant’Agnello with panoramic terraces and views.


Optional tours and activities

Half day guided tour of Herculaneum
Half day guided tour of Vesuvius
Pompei and wine tasting
Cruise along the Amalfi coast
Sunset cruise with cocktails
Cooking class


Further details

To express an interest in this tour, please use the form below or phone: +44 (0)1446 771220.

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Friends of Sorrento in partnership with Sam Smith Travel

Sorrento + Wine

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Wines of Campania

This tailor-made 8 day Wine themed holiday offers an exclusive opportunity to visit wineries in the Campania region to taste some of its most famous wines. From Sorrento you will experience vines on the slopes of Vesuvius, inland towards Avellino and the Apennine mountains and on terraces perched high above the Amalfi coast, each location as unique as the wines themselves.

You can read a brief introduction to the wine region of Campania by Master of Wine, Richard Ballantyne.


What’s included

  • Flights from UK airports to Naples
  • 4* Hotel
  • Room upgrades and half board options
  • ABTA and ATOL protection
  • Private transfers from Naples airport
  • Wine tour and tastings at vineyard near Vesuvius
  • Wine tour and tastings with 3 course lunch at vineyard in Avellino
  • Wine tour and tastings with 3 course lunch at vineyard on Amalfi coast
  • Tour of Pompeii
  • Tour of Naples
  • Tour of Positano
  • Optional tours and activities, see list below
  • Breakfasts, 3 three course lunches, farewell ‘Torna Presto’ dinner
  • Friends of Sorrento support before and during visit

Availability
May, June, Sept and October 2021
Price from £1995.00 pp based on two people sharing a double room
Group size: Minimum 10 and maximum 18 adults.


Day One

Welcomed at Naples airport where your driver will be waiting to take you to the hotel. Sit back and enjoy beautiful views across the Bay of Naples as you drive through Castellammare di Stabia, Vico Equense, Meta, Piano di Sorrento and Sant’Agnello’

Evening: Free time.


Day Two

pompeii-vesuvius

We start with a guided tour of the remarkable archaeological site of Pompeii. It seems a contradiction that the destructive forces released by Vesuvius not only destroyed and preserved Pompeii but also created a very fertile soil which has helped produce beautiful fruit, vegetables and wine. After the walking tour, we will visit a vineyard for wine tasting and a light lunch with typical local produce.

Evening: Free time to explore Sorrento.


Day Three

Streets in Naples

A guided tour of Naples to experience the fabric and daily life of this exciting and vibrant city. Start with a visit to the Archaeological Museum before meeting your guide for a walk through the streets of Napoli to experience ‘daily life’ and a chance to see the incredible architecture and sculptures. There will be opportunities to taste authentic Neapolitan pizza, visit other landmarks and take coffee at the famous Gran Caffè Gambrinus.

The photographs show the Spaccanapoli (Literal meaning: Naples splitter) which is the straight and narrow main street that traverses the old, historic centre of the city.

Evening: Free time.


Day Four

Amalfi Coast

After a relaxing full breakfast the day begins with a morning visit to ‘picture postcard’ Positano to explore its web of narrow streets with exclusive boutiques and galleries all leading down to the beach. From this level you will really appreciate the beauty of this unique location and enjoy a cappuccino before returning to the coach.

Sit back and enjoy the views as you wind your way up to Furore for a private tour of a unique winery with grapes taken from terraced vineyards along the Amalfi coast. The terraces are too steep to venture far but you will be intrigued by the story behind this winery with its romance, a constant struggle against the elements and the delicate balance between man and nature to produce wines so beautiful. Read our review of a recent visit.

After visiting the cellars you stroll across to the restaurant for a superb three course meal with wine pairings. The intricacies of each wine and how the surrounding landscape influences their taste will be explained in detail and questions willingly answered. All this taking place with the sky, sea and mountains of the Amalfi coast as a background.

Evening: Free time.


Day Five

Marina Grande Sorrento

A free day to explore the maze of narrow lanes in Sorrento with its myriad of shops and historic buildings. The fishing harbour in Marina Grande provides a perfect end to a pleasant stroll from the town centre and offers a wonderful choice of restaurants along the small beach and promenade. It’s a superb location for an alfresco lunch or dinner.

On the subject of food, why not book an optional Cooking Class in the morning or afternoon and learn some of the secrets for a perfect pasta dish. Play video.

Chef Carmen Cooking School.

Evening: Free time.


Day Six

grapes

A visit to a vineyard in the Avellino wine region that has helped Campania to be recognised the world over for its wine varieties and quality. A three course lunch with wine pairings will follow a private tour our of the vineyard and cellars.

Evening: Free time.


Day Seven

Island  of Capri

A day for doing your own thing and to take a walk to Piano di Sorrento or a 10 minute bus ride to Vico Equense and Meta di Sorrento, each with their own attractions. Take a bus in the opposite direction to some of the villages on the Peninsular, including Sant’Agata and Masa Lubrense, and enjoy local cuisine in one of the many trattorias with views of the Neapolitan Riviera. The Sorrento office will provide all the information needed.

We could organise one of our optional tours and activities including a mini cruise to Capri or along the Amalfi coast, take a half day visit to Herculaneum or learn the secrets of making the perfect pasta, see the list below.

Evening: ‘Torna Presto/Come back soon’ dinner in one of our favourite restaurants.


Day Eight

In seven days you would have tasted some of the best wines and cuisine in the region, visited Pompeii, Positano and Naples. It’s time to relax and just enjoy the moment before your private transfer to the airport.


Hotels

Here is a small selection of hotels available including traditional, contemporary or smaller boutique style depending on your preference for character, views and location. Details and images of these and other hotels can be seen on our featured hotels page.
Subject to availability at time of booking.

Tramontano Hotel Sorrento

4* Tramontano

Central, cliff edge location, superb views across Bay of Naples

Ambasciatori Hotel Sorrento

5* Ambasciatori

Cliff edge location with superb views across Bay, 10 mins walk from centre

Corallo Hotel Sant'Agnello

4* Corallo

Located in Sant’Agnello with panoramic terraces and views.


Optional tours and activities

Half day guided tour of Herculaneum
Paestum and the Greek temples
Guided tour of the island of Ischia and the magical Mortella Gardens
Guided tour of Capri
Cruise along the Amalfi coast or around Capri
Sunset cruise with cocktails
Cooking class


Further details

To express an interest in this tour, please use the form below or phone: +44 (0)1446 771220.

reCAPTCHA is required.

Friends of Sorrento in partnership with Sam Smith Travel

Amalfi Coast Experience

An exclusive tailor-made 8 day holiday including a balanced itinerary of tours, activities and relaxation. The itinerary will take you through the many different landscapes along the Amalfi coast. Visit historical sites, dramatic and incredibly beautiful coastlines, villages surrounded by lemon and olive groves, vibrant towns and cities with traditional trattorias and Michelin restaurants, and of course meet the people and experience their lifestyle.


What’s included

  • Flights from UK airports to Naples
  • ABTA and ATOL protection
  • 4/5* Hotels
  • Room upgrades and half board options
  • Private transfers from Naples airport
  • Private tour of the Amalfi coast with visits to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello
  • Private tour of Naples
  • Private tour of Pompeii with wine tasting
  • Discover Capri by boat
  • Optional tours and activities, see list below
  • Friends of Sorrento support before and during visit

Availability
4 to 11 September 2021
Price from £1995.00 pp based on two people sharing a double room
Group size: Minimum 4 and maximum 8 adults.
Other dates available on request


Day One

Welcomed at Naples airport where your driver will be waiting to take you to the hotel. Sit back and enjoy beautiful views across the Bay of Naples as you drive through Castellammare di Stabia, Vico Equense, Meta, Piano di Sorrento and Sant’Agnello.

Evening: Free time.


Day Two

pompeii-vesuvius

We start with a private guided tour of the remarkable archaeological site of Pompeii. It seems a contradiction that the destructive forces released by Vesuvius not only destroyed and preserved Pompeii but also created a very fertile soil which has helped produce beautiful fruit, vegetables and vines. After the walking tour, we will visit a vineyard for wine tasting and a three course lunch.

Evening: Free time.


Day Three

Marina Grande Sorrento

Culture vultures may want an optional morning tour of Herculaneum or you could enjoy a relaxing day to explore the maze of narrow lanes in Sorrento with its myriad of shops and historic buildings. The fishing harbour in Marina Grande provides a perfect end to a pleasant stroll from the town centre and offers a wonderful choice of restaurants along the small beach and promenade. It’s a superb location for an alfresco lunch or dinner.

On the subject of food, why not book an optional Cooking Class in the morning or afternoon and learn some of the secrets for a perfect pasta dish. Play video.

Chef Carmen Cooking School.


Day Four

Amalfi Coast

It’s 9.00 am and your driver will be waiting at your hotel to take you on a private tour of the Amalfi coast with visits to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Try to resist the temptation to stay too long in Positano if you want to explore Amalfi and Ravello at a leisurely pace. Recommendations for restaurants will be available and booked if required.

Evening: Free time to continue your exploration of the many hidden gems in historic Sorrento including museums, restaurants, boutiques and tasting limoncello in its many forms, including gelato. Find a spot where you can witness the twinkling lights of Naples across the bay where you will visit tomorrow.


Day Five

Streets in Naples
A guided tour of Naples and an introduction to the fabric and daily life of this exciting and vibrant city with a chance to see its incredible architecture and sculptures. After an authentic Neapolitan pizza you will visit the Piazza del Plebiscito and take coffee at the famous Gran Caffè Gambrinus.

The photographs show the Spaccanapoli (Literal meaning: Naples splitter) which is the straight and narrow main street that traverses the old, historic centre of the city.

Evening: Take a Passeggiata through Sorrento to absorb its vibrant and friendly atmosphere.


Day Six

View of the island of Capri

Another free day to explore beyond the centre of Sorrento and take a walk to Piano di Sorrento or a 10 minute bus ride to Vico Equense and Meta di Sorrento, each with their own attractions. Take a bus in the opposite direction to some of the villages on the Peninsular, including Sant’Agata and Masa Lubrense, and enjoy local cuisine in one of the many trattorias with views of the Neapolitan Riviera. Bus tickets and timetables? Not a problem, the Sorrento office will provide all the information needed and if required organise optional tours and activities, see below.


Day Seven

Capri

Today we cross the Bay of Naples to view, up close, the natural beauty of the island of Capri including the Faraglioni rocks and grottos. There will be opportunities for swimming and snorkelling from the boat and time to go ashore to enjoy the island’s many attractions and breathtaking views. Take a stroll through the famous “Piazzetta” of Capri and be amazed by the exclusive boutiques or relax with a glass of wine.

Evening: Free time.


Day Eight

In seven days you would have experienced Pompeii, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Capri and Naples and perhaps learned the secrets of perfect pasta making, tasted some of the best wines and cuisine in the region. It’s time to relax and just enjoy the moment before your private transfer to the airport.


Hotels

Here is a small selection of hotels available including traditional, contemporary or smaller boutique style depending on your preference for character, views and location. Details and images of these and other hotels can be seen on our featured hotels page.
Subject to availability at time of booking.

Tramontano Hotel Sorrento

4* Tramontano

Central, cliff edge location, superb views across Bay of Naples

Ambasciatori Hotel Sorrento

5* Ambasciatori

Cliff edge location with superb views across Bay, 10 mins walk from centre

Corallo Hotel Sant'Agnello

4* Corallo

Located in Sant’Agnello with panoramic terraces and views.


Optional tours and activities

Half day guided tour of Herculaneum
Paestum and the Greek temples
Guided tour of the island of Ischia and the magical Mortella Gardens
Sunset cruise with cocktails
Cooking class


Further details

To express an interest in this holiday please use the form below or phone: +44 (0) 1446 771220.

reCAPTCHA is required.

Friends of Sorrento in partnership with Sam Smith Travel