All posts by Richard Edwards

Wine tours from Sorrento

Sorrento wine tours and tasting

Sorrento is the ideal location from which to visit seemingly unlimited cultural sites, magnificent coastlines and islands. It is also well placed to sample the many wines of the region, from world famous names to smaller local vineyards with outstanding views to complement the flavours. Wine connoisseurs and holiday visitors alike can be sure of a rewarding experience for all the senses

Friends of Sorrento offers wine tours to suit everyone and details are provided after this introduction to the wine region of Campania by Master of Wine, Richard Ballantyne.

Campania is a fascinating region for wine lovers. This region is home to the greatest known wine of Roman times, Falernum, which was prized for its strength and longevity and was noted by Pliny The Elder in his works entitled Natural History.

The vineyards of the region are influenced by three main geographical features; the warm Mediterranean, which is never that far away from any of the vineyards, the Southern span of the Apennine Mountains, and thirdly, Volcanoes: the most famous of which is Mount Vesuvius, from where the petrified volcanic ash can be found in many of the soils and rocks of the vineyards.

Despite being quite far south on the Italian peninsula, the region tends to be more famous for its whites than its reds, particularly those from the local varieties such as Falanghina, Fiano and Greco. The best Falanghinas are to be found in the region of Sannio, close to the town of Benevento which is located in the southern spur of the aforementioned Apennines. This region is named after the Samnites: a band of tribes who were the enemies of Rome and bravely defeated the Republic in 321BC. In the case of Fiano, the best examples of those are to be found in the region of Avellino where is takes on a rich character full of aromatics. Greco, for me is the least interesting of the three varieties, but it is also the most aromatic. Flamboyant and incredible perfumed for its green and yellow fruit notes but also strongly floral.

The reds of Campania, also are very good, and some would say some of the best from Southern Italy. The best of the red wine varieties is Aglianico which reaches its peak with the wines of Taurasi, with unquestionably the best and most famous producer here is Mastroberardino whose wines can be aged for decades. Other interesting reds can be made from the Piedirosso variety which is one of the components of Lacryma Christi, grown within close proximity to Mount Vesuvius.

There is much to explore in this fascinating regione, its wines are very highly regarded and still very much undiscovered.

Additional notes:

Terradora – Famed for their Taurasi but make other wines too.

La Guardiense – A co-op located near Benevento offering some of the best value wines in Southern Italy

Galardi and Montevetrano – Very top end making collectors’ wines. Very highly regarded by the American press.

Feudo di San Gregorio – Producer of richly fruited, modern-style wines.”

Richard Ballantyne Master of Wine

Richard Ballantyne’s wine store, Noble Grape, is based in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, and includes a fine selection of Italian wines available online


Wine tours from Sorrento

DOC and DOCG Wines of Campania

The letters DOC or DOCG on an Italian wine label mean Denominazione di Origine Controllata, and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, the latter superior to the first. They refer to government guarantees of the wines’ origins. There are currently 4 DOCG and 15 DOC wine producing areas in Campania:

DOCG
Aglianico del Taburno, Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo, Taurasi

DOC
Aversa, Campi Flegrei, Capri, Casavecchia di Pontelatone, Castel San Lorenzo, Cilento, Costa d’Amalfi, Falanghina del Sannio, Falerno del Massico, Galluccio, Irpinia, Ischia, Penisola Sorrentina, Sannio, Vesuvio.

Their location can be viewed on the Federdoc’s website

Sorrentino VinoSorrentino Vino

Tours and Tastings

Friends of Sorrento can arrange customised tours and tastings for wine aficionados to some of the major producers mentioned above. We also cater for visitors looking for a blend of site seeing and a taste of local wine not too far from Sorrento.

We provide a day tour of Pompeii with tasting of wines from the slopes of Vesuvius or a day tour of the Amalfi coast with a visit to a local vineyard for tastings and lunch. A perfect blend of culture, beauty and flavours of the region.

Pompeii and Wine Tasting Tour
A select tour in a luxury minibus to Pompeii followed by a visit to a vineyard on the slopes of Vesuvius to sample wine and food produced locally.
View itinerary

Vesuvius 4X4 and Wine Tasting Tour
A tour in an off-road vehicle of Vesuvius followed by a visit to a vineyard on the slopes of Vesuvius to sample wine and food produced locally.
View itinerary

Amalfi coast tour and Wine Tasting Tour
A private tour of the Amalfi coast and a vineyard with vine terraces perched on the cliffs, followed by lunch and wine tasting in a stunning location.
Tour available on request.

Customised Wine Tours
Private tours and tastings can be arranged to the Avellino and Benevento regions on request.

Nightclubs in Sorrento and Amalfi

What to do on the Amalfi Coast when the sun goes down?

For live music and the perfect G&T, local wine with a majestic view or hitting the dancefloor Italian-style: read up on our favourite nightlife spots along the peninsula.

Sorrento

The Filou Club is set between the ancient walls of Sorrento on Via Santa Maria della Pietà, near Piazza Tasso. The Filou is renowned for its live music, with a busy line-up of singers, pianists and DJs.

The Filou Club Sorrento

Take a seat and make your way through their comprehensive cocktail menu: start with a Contemporary Classic (Bellini, Mai Tai, Moscow Mule), move on to the Fashionables (Frozen Daiquiri, Caipirinha, Zombie) and finish up with an Unforgettable (Gin Fizz, Sidecar, Old Fashioned).

Open daily from 10pm, closed Wednesdays. Website


For the real Italian nightclub experience, check out The Fauno Notte Club on Piazza Tasso. Attracting mainly twentysomethings, the Fauno sports a lively bar with DJs spinning the latest chart remixes, house and techno.

The Fauno Club Sorrento

Their calendar is sprinkled with theme nights such as the popular Black Out Party, where the crowd throws shapes in fluorescent paint and glow-in-the-dark accessories.

Open 7 days a week, 11pm – 3am. Website


Blu Night Club Massa Lubrense

Tucked away in picturesque Massa Lubrense, Blu Night is the peninsula’s only open-air disco. Soak up the rays at Puolo Cove during the day, then enjoy dinner with cocktails and dance the night away with a gorgeous sea view.

Check their website for upcoming events.


Positano

Music on the Rocks in Positano

Music On The Rocks, opened in 1972. Carved out of the bare rock and directly accessible from the Spiaggia Grande, this one-of-a-kind club has lured famous visitors ashore including Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Denzel Washington and Lenny Kravitz.

Check their website for events listings.


Praiano

In 1962, prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn asked nightclub owner Luca Milano to throw her a party in his brand new venue. And so the Africana Famous Club was christened.

This utterly unique social spot—which hosts everything from burlesque shows to sit-down dinners to live DJ sets—looks like a set built for Pirates of the Caribbean.

Africana Famous Club Amalfi Coast

The Africana operates a shuttle boat to and from Positano, Amalfi or Maiori, which will take you right up to the lagoon-like entrance.
Lounge and America Bar open daily from 8pm.

Check website for special event times.


Capri

We’ll be taking a separate look at the top clubs including Number Two, Qube Cafe, Vv Club and Taverna Anema e Core. With nightlife taking place after the last ferry, you need to be staying on the island or hire a water taxi.


Other venues

Jazz at Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento

Many hotels and other venues offer classical and jazz concerts in beautiful settings throughout the year. Keep track of these on our events page.

Leonardo Da Vinci in Sorrento

Leonardo Da Vinci in Sorrento

(5 Mar to 15 Nov)

A wonderful opportunity to view and touch replicas of machines invented by Leornardo Da Vinci. Theses include several fully functional machines such as the predecessor of the parachute, a bicycle, a hydraulic saw and many other inventions.

Reproductions of Leonardo’s masterpieces and codes are also on show together with multimedia videos and film footage about his life. All this in the evocative setting of the Convent of San Francesco in the heart of Sorrento.

From 5 March to 15 November

Tickets cost 8.00 euros for adults and 6.00 for children aged 4 to 15 years, senior citizens over 65 years, school children and for groups of at least 20 people.

Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition in Sorrento

Full details and booking information can be found on the official website

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Sorrento craft beers

Sorrento craft beers

With mystical names like Syrentum, Minerva and Parthenope it is hardly surprising that lovers of craft beer will not be satisfied until their taste buds have been seduced.

Two men, Giuseppe Schisano and Francesco Galano, each with a passion for brewing beer established the Sorrento Brewery in 2009 on the Sorrento peninsula.

sorrento-beer-passion

Their first two labels were, the Syrentum, a light craft beer with lemon peel of Sorrento PGI, and the Minerva with orange peel. Blending production processes with the gastronomic traditions of the region together with a beautiful location, the Sorrento Brewery offers visitors a unique experience.

Yes, you can visit for tastings and its location is a perfect destination for those wishing to explore this beautiful area or combine with a visit to Massa Lubrense and Marina del Cantone. You can arrange a visit yourself or Friends of Sorrento can include a visit with a tour of the Peninsula.

Birrificio Sorrento Gift Boxes

After your visit why not take a gift box back to your balcony to savour the delicate flavours at sunset and listen carefully for those mystical sirens. Just remember to tie yourself to the balcony.

For more information about Birrificio Sorrento, visit their Website

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Pompeii and Paestum by Vintage Train

Vintage train to Pompeii and Paestunm

(Once every month)

Travel back in time with this unique opportunity to visit Pompeii and Paestum in a vintage 30’s locomotive and carriages. The journey starts from Naples and stops at Pompeii and Paestum with enough time to explore each site. We can arrange private transfers to and from Naples/Pompeii stations to make your ‘travel back in time’ as comfortable as possible.

It runs once every month throughout 2018, the dates and times can be found on the official website together with images of the vintage coach.

Train tickets cost 20 euros for adults and 10 euros for children aged 4-12 years, free for children aged 0-4 years, accompanied by at least one paying adult and no seat guarantee. Tickets for entry to both the Pompeii and Paestum Archaeological Parks cost 15 euros for adults and 7.5 euros for children. There is a guide to purchasing tickets on the website. Other train journeys include Calasetta from Naples.

The National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa

The National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa
Train enthusiasts may also be interested in The National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa just outside Naples and about an hour by car from Naples. This video gives you an idea of the venue and full details can be found on the Museum website. They also provide a monthly train service from Naples to the Museum in a historic train with vintage carriages.

Sorrento Magazine

Sorrento Magazine

The Sorrento Magazine is an excellent source for information about Sorrento’s history, culture, art, traditions, cuisine and much more. We highly recommend this publication because of the excellent articles, in English and Italian, supported by beautiful photography and images.

Links to the online 2016 and 2017 editions are provided below and as soon as 2018 is available we will feature it here. Hopefully you will find a copy in your hotel room or the reception area,

Sorrento Magazine 2016
Sorrento Magazine 2016
Sorrento Magazine 2017
Sorrento Magazine 2017
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Catch of the day in Sorrento

Tuna fish in Sorrento

Looking through our photo archives we came across this ‘catch of the day’ taken 10 years ago in Marina Grande, Sorrento’s fishing harbour. The fishing boat ‘S.Maria Carmela Madre’ had just come in and local restaurateurs were gathering to buy their supplies. As the Tuna was hoisted up we managed to catch the catch.

Although this is not a regular event it demonstrates the diversity of activities taking place in Sorrento that helps make a visit even more interesting.

fishing boat in Sorrento

The Marina Grande is a pleasant walk down from the main square and offers a range of fish restaurants along the water’s edge. In the evening the restaurants are full and the harbour lights provide a beautiful backdrop for a very pleasant experience.

Marina Grande in Sorrento

If you want to try and catch one yourself there are fishing tours available.

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Classic cars in Sorrento

Classic cars in Sorrento

Just like a scene from a movie these classic cars seem perfectly at home parked on Sorrento’s main street, Corso Italia. We were out for a stroll in June 2016 and came across a line of classic cars parked as if the owners were shopping or in a restaurant. These are just a few we were able to capture.

Classic cars in Sorrento

We will be checking to see if this is a regular event for local classic car enthusiasts and will keep you posted. There is also a tour of the Sorrento Peninsular in the first week of November 2018 by the Classic Car Club of Naples with visits to Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi and Minori.

Classic cars in Sorrento

There were cars that were very grand and others compact but cool, perfect for that drive along the Amalfi coast road.

Even the police motorcyclists uniforms were classic. Bella Figura on duty and off duty.

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Frecce Tricolori Air Display Sorrento

The Frecce Tricolori Air Display in Sorrento

(Saturday 28 Apr)

If you are in Sorrento on Saturday 28 April, then look up to the sky at around 13.30 pm to witness a display by the Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Aeronautical Aeronautics Patrol of the Italian Air Force.

A dazzling and colourful display of air acrobatics will be performed by nine aircraft of the National Aerobatic Team in a unique setting.

So get comfortable on your balcony or sun lounger and enjoy the show.

The Frecce Tricolori Air Display in Sorrento