Category Archives: Sorrento News

CuCù Restaurant

CuCu Cocktail Bar Sorrento

CuCù is nestled about 100m from Sorrento’s main square on the pedestrianised part of the Corso Italia. Its grand cocktail bar is an attraction in its own right and like an old friend invites you in for a glass or two. It sets the tone of the decor in which the Great Gatsby would not look out of place. High vaulted ceilings, geometric patterned tiles, foliage, designer wall coverings, quirky paintings, elegant furniture and books, yes books*.

CuCu restaurant

The CuCù has an individual style not only in decor but also in its menu with each dish prepared and presented like a live art performance, innovative and exploratory. The open kitchen allows you to observe the chefs preparing their latest creations and adds to a wonderfully informal and entertaining atmosphere. This environment encourages visitors to relax and to try something different, in a cocktail glass and on a designer plate. Incidentally, CuCù does mean Cuckoo.

CuCu Restaurant Sorrento

CuCù Restaurant
Corso Italia 151
Sorrento
Facebook

* There are books on display which can be bought at the
Libreria Tasso Book Shop in Via San Cesareo


Sorrento Holidays

Cocktails at Cornelia

Cornelia Cocktail Bar Sorrento

Cornelia’s Cocktail Bar brings colour and fun to any evening. Just a short walk through Sorrento’s maze of narrow lanes it shines like a beacon for those seeking creative cocktails. Who’s Cornelia I hear you say. She was the sister of Torquato Tasso, a 16th century Italian poet who was born in Sorrento (his statue is in the main square) and best known for his poem Gerusalemme liberata, depicting a highly imaginative version of the battles between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade. Enough history, now the Art of Cocktails.

Cornelia Cocktails Sorrento

This hideaway is a haven for mixologists continually blending flavours and colours into the early hours of the morning to create cocktails that will please the eyes, nose and taste buds. If you prefer your cocktails to be mysterious, romantic, traditional or just cute then you will fully appreciate the range of creative recipes in addition to the many classics on the menu.

Add to this some tasty platters of Crudo ham, Grana cheese, cherry tomatoes and stuffed buffalo mozzarella and you can see where the night is going. Cin Cin Cornelia!

Cornelia Cocktail Bar Sorrento
Cornelia Cocktail Bar Sorrento
Cornelia Cocktail Bar Sorrento
Cornelia Cocktail Bar Sorrento

Cornelia Cocktails
Via San Nicola, 3
Sorrento
Website and Cocktail Menu


Sorrento Holidays

Neapolitan Tailored Jacket

Luca Rubinacci describes how a typical Neapolitan tailored jacket is made. The Rubinacci online store includes a range of jacket styles and accessories and there is an outlet in London (96 Mount Street, Mayfair) as well as in Naples and Milan.

Credits
Rubinacci Online store
Danilo della Mura
Stile Italia Tv
Leisury Tv

Naples The Art Metro

Few people know that beneath the busy streets of Naples lies an extraordinary subterranean art collection, open to any curious traveller for the price of a metro ticket.

Toledo subway station, Naples

Toledo station, designed by Catalan architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca and curated by Italian art critic Achille Bonito Oliva, has been described as “the most beautiful subway stop in Europe”. Wrapped around the entrance hall is an ornate mosaic designed by South African artist William Kentridge, depicting the Naples Procession led by San Gennaro. Figures from Italian history and blood-red musical scores are woven with maps of the city’s first underground rail system: all tiled by hand in the style of the Cosmati masters.

Materials and colours in Toledo station move down through black asphalt to ochre and finally azure, representing the earth’s strata. Descending the escalator, you can gaze up through the cavernous Cratere di Luce (Crater of Light) to the sunshine above. Moving walkways between platforms double as immersive installations. Ponder giant portraits from cultures around the world in The Human Race by Oliviero Toscani; walk on water through By The Sea…You And Me, shimmering oceanic panels by Texan artist Robert Wilson.

metro-02

At the kaleidoscopic Università station, Egyptian architect Karim Rashid has created a thoroughly psychedelic commute. In this steel hall of mirrors, pink and purple walls glisten like pulled sugar. 3D shapes animate as you walk by, exploring the language of our new digital era. Beyond the turnstiles you’ll meet Rashid’s Conversational Profile, polished black pillar-sculptures in the futurist style of Bertelli’s famous Continuous Profile of Mussolini. And at the exit stairways, each step shows a slice of a screenprint homage to Dante and his beloved muse Beatrice.

If you’re visiting the Museo Archeologico Nazionale on your trip, go via the Museo station to see Mimmo Jodice’s mesmerizing, torchlit photos of ancient bronze statues. A perfect opener for the Farnese Hercules that greets you, fresh from killing his lion, in the museum’s atrium.

A highlight of the Quattro Giornate station on Line 1 is Marisa Albanese’s celestial Combattenti (Fighters). Sitting weightless above the escalators, the sculptures are dedicated to the women of the Italian Resistance—their unsung strength during the WWII uprising of Naples in September 1943.

There are currently 14 ‘art stations’ distributed along lines 1 and 6 of the Metro network, featuring more than 180 works by 90 international artists and architects.

Two new stations, dedicated to the city’s archaeological treasures, are currently in planning. Duomo station will be built around the excavations of a 1st-century temple and athletic race track; Municipio will showcase, among other precious artefacts, the preserved skeletons of three Roman ships.

This video, produced by Rai Cultura in collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and tourism, provides a real insight into the story behind “the art stations of the Naples metro”.

.

List of art stations:
Line 1: Garibaldi, Università, Toledo, Dante, Museo, Materdei, Salvator Rosa, Quattro Giornate, Vanvitelli, Rione Alto
Line 6: Mostra, Augusto, Lala, Mergellina

More information about the art stations, including online guides, can be found on the official website.

Samantha Edwards
Most Played | Copywriting + Creative
www

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 star hotel with breakfast
  • 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
April to October 2021.
Price from £ 1650.00 pp based on two adults sharing a double room.


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.


Accommodation

Corallo Hotel Sorrento

The Hotel Corallo, located in the town of Sant’Agnello, is a 4 star hotel situated on a clifftop with panoramic terraces and views of the Gulf of Naples, Vesuvius and the Sorrentine peninsula. The centre of Sorrento and Tasso Square with its characteristic alleys, is just 2 km away and can be reached on foot or by public transport.

In 1910 this elegant patrician house became “Hotel Cappuccini”, a meeting point for artists and intellectuals such as the great Luigi Pirandello, who stayed here in the 1930’s.

The recent renovations have enhanced an exclusive blend of past and present ensuring the hotel provides a beautiful backdrop for a relaxing holiday.

Other hotels available.


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

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 the choice of dishes available for the classes.

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 video of an online class taking place from the kitchen of her Cooking School in Sorrento. Buon appetito!

Sorrento + Christmas

Christmas in Sorrento

Christmas shopping in Sorrento

Friends of Sorrento offers a perfect opportunity for a group of friends to make Christmas shopping a present in itself. This is Friends of Sorrento’s Christmas Shopping Package at a 4 or 5 star hotel in the heart of Sorrento.

It offers immediate access to shops in the old quarter and Sorrento’s main street, Corso Italia, with shops offering designer label fashions, accessories, jewellery, perfume, arts, crafts and much more. The shops open until late so there’s plenty of time for window shopping in the evenings when the lights and decorations create that magical atmosphere of Christmas. We also take you to the fashionable shopping areas in the Bay of Naples including Positano and Naples itself.

xmas-ribbons-reverse

Christmas Shopping List

  • Flights from UK airports to Naples
  • 3 nights in a choice of 4 & 5 star hotels in Sorrento
  • Room upgrades and half board options
  • ABTA and ATOL protection
  • Private transfers from Naples airport in executive style
  • Welcome drinks and Christmas present
  • Private tour of the Amalfi coast with shopping in Positano
  • Private tour of Pompeii and Naples
  • Restaurant recommendations with special discounts for members
  • Friends of Sorrento support before and during visit

Availability
29 November to 20 December 2020
Minimum group size 4 people
Price 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 to settle into the hotel before setting off to enjoy the magnificent Christmas Tree and Decorations in the main square and throughout the town. Time also for some window shopping.


Day Two

You can’t come all this way without taking in a little culture and the day starts with a guided tour of the remarkable archaeological site of Pompeii. In the afternoon you continue to Naples to visit Via San Gregorio Armeno, a street dedicated to nativity crib scenes (Presepi), followed by the fashionable shopping areas.

Evening: Return to Sorrento to rest those tired legs before venturing out for dinner.


Day Three

It’s 10.00 am and your driver will be waiting at your hotel to take you on a private tour of the Amalfi coast with visits to Ravello, Amalfi and finally Positano to explore its narrow lanes and chic boutiques.

Evening: Free time to return to the shops and make that final purchase decision! Enjoy a meal in our recommended restaurant and take a Passeggiata to absorb Sorrento’s family Christmas atmosphere.


Day Four

In four days you would have been surrounded by the Sorrento’s festive spirit, shopped Italian style, savoured local cuisine and taken in a little culture. Now its time to take those presents and memories back home ready for your own traditional Christmas.
Buon Natale!


Further details

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

reCAPTCHA is required.

xmas-ribbons-reverse

Friends of Sorrento in partnership with Sam Smith Travel

Neapolitan Riviera

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 on the Neapolitan Riviera. 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 star hotel
  • 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
  • ‘Torna Presto’ dinner
  • Optional tours and activities, see list below
  • Friends of Sorrento support before and during visit

Availability
August to October 2020 subject to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
April to October 2021.
Price 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 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

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 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.


Accommodation

Corallo Hotel Sorrento

The Hotel Corallo, located in the town of Sant’Agnello, is a 4 star hotel situated on a clifftop with panoramic terraces and views of the Gulf of Naples, Vesuvius and the Sorrentine peninsula. The centre of Sorrento and Tasso Square with its characteristic alleys, is just 2 km away and can be reached on foot or by public transport.

In 1910 this elegant patrician house became “Hotel Cappuccini”, a meeting point for artists and intellectuals such as the great Luigi Pirandello, who stayed here in the 1930’s.

The recent renovations have enhanced an exclusive blend of past and present ensuring the hotel provides a beautiful backdrop for a relaxing holiday.

Other hotels available.


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

Sorrento + Opera

Opera at the San Carlo Theatre in Naples, evening concerts in Ravello on the Amalfi coast, jazz on the terraces of Sorrento, classical and traditional music in venues throughout Sorrento. In between performances, enjoy a little bit of culture with visits to Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum or take a cruise along the Amalfi coast. Fine cuisine and wine with glorious scenery completes the picture.

Madama Butterfly will be performed at San Carlo from 30 April to 13 May 2021 and we hope to be able to offer the option to see a performance. We were fortunate to see Tosca in 2016, an experience never to be forgotten. In a meantime here are some videos as a taster of what you could experience with this holiday.


What’s included

  • Flights from UK airports to Naples
  • ABTA and ATOL protection
  • 4 star hotel
  • Room upgrades
  • Private transfers from Naples airport
  • Private tour of the Amalfi coast with visits to Positano and evening concert in Ravello
  • Guided tour of Naples including San Carlo Opera House
  • Guided tour of Pompeii with wine tasting
  • Guided tour of Capri
  • Jazz and Cocktails on the terrace
  • Optional tours and activities, see list below
  • Friends of Sorrento support before and during visit

Availability
Eight days, April to June and Sept to October 2021
Price from £1795.00 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

Positano

A relaxing start with a private tour of the Amalfi coast including a visit to beautiful Positano for lunch. We continue along the coastal road to Ravello for cocktails before an evening concert. Return to Sorrento around midnight.

Ravello Music Festival Concerts


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

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 a three course lunch.

Evening: A wonderful opportunity to hear soprano and tenor voices singing some of the great Italian Opera and Neapolitan Songs in Sorrento’s beautiful Correale Museum. A true musical experience in unique surroundings.


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 a tour around the San Carlo Opera House.

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.

Here is a glimpse inside the San Carlo Opera house.

San Carlo Opera House in Naples

Evening: Free time


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.

Evening. Sorrento Musical


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: Jazz and cocktails on the terrace.

Jazz at the Excelsior Vittoria


Day Eight

In seven days you would have experienced Pompeii, Positano, Ravello, Capri and Naples and the different music from the region including traditional folk dancing to grand opera. All in wonderfull settings. It’s time to relax and just enjoy the moment before your private transfer to the airport.


Accommodation

Corallo Hotel Sorrento

The Hotel Corallo, located in the town of Sant’Agnello, is a 4 star hotel situated on a clifftop with panoramic terraces and views of the Gulf of Naples, Vesuvius and the Sorrentine peninsula. The centre of Sorrento and Tasso Square with its characteristic alleys, is just 2 km away and can be reached on foot or by public transport.

In 1910 this elegant patrician house became “Hotel Cappuccini”, a meeting point for artists and intellectuals such as the great Luigi Pirandello, who stayed here in the 1930’s.

The recent renovations have enhanced an exclusive blend of past and present ensuring the hotel provides a beautiful backdrop for a relaxing holiday.

Other hotels available.


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

Sorrento + Rome

Rome

Rome is just a one hour train journey to Naples or a three hour drive to Sorrento and with regular UK flights to Rome and Naples, a two city holiday is a very attractive option. With two days to explore the Eternal City and five based in Sorrento to discover the Neapolitan Riviera this holiday offers a perfect blend of culture and the Dolce Vita.


What’s included

  • Flights from UK airports to Rome and from Naples
  • ABTA and ATOL protection
  • 4 star hotels with breakfast
  • Room upgrades where available
  • Private transfers from Rome and Naples airports
  • Transfer to Naples by train with private transfer by car to Sorrento
  • Option for private transfer by car from Rome to Sorrento
  • Private tour of the Amalfi coast with visits to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello
  • 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
April to October 2021.
Price from £ 1750.00 pp based on two adults sharing a double room.


Day One

Welcomed at Rome airport where your driver will be waiting to take you to the hotel.

Evening: Free time


Day Two

Rome Trevi Fountain

A day to explore some of the main sites in this incredible city.

Evening: Free time.


Day Three

Another day to enjoy the sites of Rome before your late afternoon train to Naples where you will met at the station by your driver. 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 and to the hotel in Sorrento.

Evening: Free time.


Day Four

Marina Grande Sorrento

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 where you look across the Bay towards Naples and Vesuvius.


Day Five

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.


Day Six

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 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 Rome, Pompeii, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Capri and wonderful Sorrento. It’s time to relax and just enjoy the moment before your private transfer to the airport.


Accommodation Sorrento

Corallo Hotel Sorrento

The Hotel Corallo, located in the town of Sant’Agnello, is a 4 star hotel situated on a clifftop with panoramic terraces and views of the Gulf of Naples, Vesuvius and the Sorrentine peninsula. The centre of Sorrento and Tasso Square with its characteristic alleys, is just 2 km away and can be reached on foot or by public transport.

In 1910 this elegant patrician house became “Hotel Cappuccini”, a meeting point for artists and intellectuals such as the great Luigi Pirandello, who stayed here in the 1930’s.

The recent renovations have enhanced an exclusive blend of past and present ensuring the hotel provides a beautiful backdrop for a relaxing holiday.

Accommodation Rome

To be advised


Optional tours and activities

Half day guided tour of Herculaneum
Tour of Naples
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.

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Friends of Sorrento in partnership with Sam Smith Travel

My perfect holiday

We start with a blank sheet to create your perfect luxury holiday to the Amalfi coast. Let us know your preferences for the style of hotel, your interests regarding activities, tours and anything else that is important to you.

Take a look at our group holidays for ideas and we will put together an itinerary for discussion and customise accordingly.

Just complete the form below or phone: +44 (0)1446 771220 and let the planning begin.
We will provide a private webpage detailing our holiday itinerary proposal as it develops.
See example.

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Friends of Sorrento in partnership with Sam Smith Travel

158 Studio | Contemporary jewellery

Serpent earring from 158 Studio in Sorrento
158 Studio is located in the heart of historic Sorrento and brings together a collection of contemporary jewellery from leading Italian designers including Co.Ro.Jewels, Cristina Fava, Francesca Bianchi, Vitti Ferria Contin, Dario Scapitta and many more. Patterns and textures found in natural and man made materials provide the inspiration for many of the pieces on display.

158 Studio bracelet
158 Studio bracelet

Some of the creations are miniature sculptures and works of art in their own right. Everyday materials are transformed into decorative pieces with colours, shapes, patterns and textures emphasised to create a unique fashion accessory. The latest technology using 3D printed Nylon brings lightness and flexibility to others.

158 Studio necklace
158 Studio necklace

More traditional materials of gold, silver, pearls and gem stones are also used to produce a range of contemporary fashion jewellery suitable for all occasions and moods. There is a wonderful diversity of innovative designs, each one a statement piece reflecting the personality of the person who wears it. What statement would you like to make?

158 Studio Ring
158 Studio Earring
Nicoletta Passarelli in 158 Studio

158 Studio
Nicoletta Passarelli will be pleased to show the latest designer collections during your visit to Sorrento. Until then you can view and purchase items on line.

More examples are on display on Instagram and Facebook.

158 Studio
Via San Francesco, 21
Sorrento

Marisa Cuomo Wine – A Tale of Passion

Marisa Cuomo Wine

Having seen the name Marisa Cuomo on a number of wine menus we organised a private tour to the winery in Furore. It’s located 45 minutes from Positano and 500 m above the Amalfi coastal road. This wine tour was to prove stimulating not just for our taste buds but for all the senses.

After turning off the coastal road we began the winding ascent to Furore with each bend offering picture postcard scenes of the coastline far below and mountains high above. Having been used to seeing rows of vines on a rolling landscape it was hard to see where the vineyards could possibly lie in such a vertical environment.

mountain wine terraces

However, following a warm welcome at the winery everything became clear as the Marisa Cuomo story unfolded during the introduction and visits to the cellars, hand-cut into the rock, and the steep, almost hidden, terraces. The main cultivation system is the ‘pergola’ with vines often planted on vertical rock faces with manual labour and donkeys still carrying the burden. Some of the wines are classed as Extreme and Heroic because of the challenging conditions.

marisa cuomo wineyards

Bruna was our guide and her description sounded more like a novel than a tour. A story of romance, dramatic landscapes, physical struggles and passion to produce beautiful wines. In 1983 the vineyard was a wedding gift from Andrea Ferraioli to Marisa and like true love, flourished over the years. Their determination, together with generations of experience and physical toil has resulted in a cellar with a world wide reputation.

Marisa Cuomo Wines

In addition to vineyards in Furore, they have others located along the Amalfi coast. Ancient vines producing unique tastes influenced by the earth in which they grow and the mountain air they absorb. Tronto, Tintore, Sciascinoso, Ripolo, Pepella, Ginestra, Piedirosso, and Fenile are the grape varieties blended to create nine Marisa Cuomo wines listed below.

Furore Bianco, Furore Rosso.
Ravello Bianco, Ravello Rosso.
Furore Bianco Fiorduva, Furore Rosso Riserva.
Costa d’Amalfi Rosso, Costa d’Amalfi Rosato, Costa d’Amalfi Bianco.

Marisa Cuomo wines are available in the UK and stockists found with Google search

Tastings took place at the Ristorante Bacco, located opposite the winery with a table for two on a terrace open to spectacular views of the mountains and coastline. There was a choice of menus each with a selection of three wines to complement the dishes and ours included the award-winning Furore Bianco Fiorduva.

Bacco Restaurant

How the different landscapes and soils influenced the intricacies of each wine were explained to us as the dishes were served; citrus from lemon groves, minerals in more rocky ground and much more. It was an exceptional meal with superb wines in a truly wonderful setting followed by a relaxing drive back to Sorrento.

Whenever we open wine from Marisa Cuomo it is not only the flavours that rekindle memories of our visit but also the label. Each wine has its own illustration as if taken from a storybook, but a story based on real people and real places. Whether you are a wine connoisseur or a romantic you should find this tale of passion and fortitude in a beautiful but unforgiving landscape fascinating.

Based on our experience Friends of Sorrento provides a private tour to Marisa Cuomo including time to visit Positano. See itinerary

marisa cuomo wine label illustrations

Full details about the Marisa Cuomo winery and their wines can be found at their website together with a selection of videos. Here’s a little taster.

Marisa Cuomo
Via G.B. Lama, 16/18
Furore
Website

Naples Underground: The Art Metro

Few people know that beneath the busy streets of Naples lies an extraordinary subterranean art collection, open to any curious traveller for the price of a metro ticket.

Toledo subway station, Naples

Toledo station, designed by Catalan architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca and curated by Italian art critic Achille Bonito Oliva, has been described as “the most beautiful subway stop in Europe”. Wrapped around the entrance hall is an ornate mosaic designed by South African artist William Kentridge, depicting the Naples Procession led by San Gennaro. Figures from Italian history and blood-red musical scores are woven with maps of the city’s first underground rail system: all tiled by hand in the style of the Cosmati masters.

Materials and colours in Toledo station move down through black asphalt to ochre and finally azure, representing the earth’s strata. Descending the escalator, you can gaze up through the cavernous Cratere di Luce (Crater of Light) to the sunshine above. Moving walkways between platforms double as immersive installations. Ponder giant portraits from cultures around the world in The Human Race by Oliviero Toscani; walk on water through By The Sea…You And Me, shimmering oceanic panels by Texan artist Robert Wilson.

metro-02

At the kaleidoscopic Università station, Egyptian architect Karim Rashid has created a thoroughly psychedelic commute. In this steel hall of mirrors, pink and purple walls glisten like pulled sugar. 3D shapes animate as you walk by, exploring the language of our new digital era. Beyond the turnstiles you’ll meet Rashid’s Conversational Profile, polished black pillar-sculptures in the futurist style of Bertelli’s famous Continuous Profile of Mussolini. And at the exit stairways, each step shows a slice of a screenprint homage to Dante and his beloved muse Beatrice.

metro-05

If you’re visiting the Museo Archeologico Nazionale on your trip, go via the Museo station to see Mimmo Jodice’s mesmerizing, torchlit photos of ancient bronze statues. A perfect opener for the Farnese Hercules that greets you, fresh from killing his lion, in the museum’s atrium.

A highlight of the Quattro Giornate station on Line 1 is Marisa Albanese’s celestial Combattenti (Fighters). Sitting weightless above the escalators, the sculptures are dedicated to the women of the Italian Resistance—their unsung strength during the WWII uprising of Naples in September 1943.

There are currently 14 ‘art stations’ distributed along lines 1 and 6 of the Metro network, featuring more than 180 works by 90 international artists and architects.

Two new stations, dedicated to the city’s archaeological treasures, are currently in planning. Duomo station will be built around the excavations of a 1st-century temple and athletic race track; Municipio will showcase, among other precious artefacts, the preserved skeletons of three Roman ships.

Samantha Edwards
Most Played | Copywriting + Creative
www

For more information and images of the art stations view this excellent video.

List of art stations:
Line 1: Garibaldi, Università, Toledo, Dante, Museo, Materdei, Salvator Rosa, Quattro Giornate, Vanvitelli, Rione Alto
Line 6: Mostra, Augusto, Lala, Mergellina

The metro is open 6:00 to 23:00 every day of the year.
A travelcard, valid for one day, costs 3.50 Euro.

D’Anton Design & Bistro

D'Anton Bistro in Sorrento

D‘Anton, the designer bistro, sits comfortably on the corner of Piazza S.Antonino in Sorrento, opposite the Tasso Theatre. From the outside, the tables and chairs present a typical image of a small cafe/bistro serving visitors cappuccino and traditional snacks with a classic view across a pleasant piazza.

D'Anton Designer Bistro Sorrento

However, inside is a collection of Objets d’art filling the room from top to bottom creating a unique ambience. Chandeliers, table lamps, bird cages, statues, paintings, mirrors, ceramics, glass, plant holders, cushions and more compete for attention as a source of inspiration for interior design projects. Try to imagine an Alladin’s cave that has a cocktail bar and food with many of its treasures available for purchase.

D'Anton Bistro Sorrento

Dishes of traditional offerings and original cocktails are presented in an equally imaginative way to compliment the surroundings. In the evenings the atmospheric lighting is perfect for romantic interludes.

If you are looking for a source of inspiration for interior design, an intimate table with a film-set decor, traditional snacks using local produce, cocktails with attitude (try the limoncello cocktail made from Francesca’s secret recipe), or just the perfect cappuccino then D’Anton is the place. Gabriel, pictured below, and Francesca will be pleased to welcome you.

D'Anton Bistro Sorrento

D’Anton Design & Bistro
Piazza Sant’Antonino
Sorrento
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Sunset dinner in the Marina Grande

Let me invite you for a sunset dinner in the picturesque harbour of the Marina Grande. Make your way to the Piazza della Vittoria, at the rear of the Tramomtano Hotel, and with the Bellevue Syrene on your right follow the cobbled lane. This will guide you through hidden villas and secret gardens, down well trodden steps and under an archway which opens to a magnificent vista of the harbour.

Marina Grande in Sorrento

In the next hour or so tables will start to fill every available space in and around each restaurant along the water’s edge. Dishes of grilled sardines, plump prawns, fish of the day, crab, lobster ….. will be whisked across the road from kitchen to outside tables. On this occasion we’ll have to ignore the temptation of the long established Trattoria da Emilia and the more recent Soul & Fish restaurant, at least until lunch tomorrow.

Because this evening we are dining at Delfino’s, right on the other side of the harbour, past the children paddling on the beach, the illuminated church and the lady making traditional lace products. From here you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the sunset with the relaxing sound of waves splashing under the boardwalk. The atmosphere is a little quieter with enough table space to allow some privacy for those ‘special’ occasions.

View of Marina Grande harbour

On one side is the fishing harbour and on the other, the bay of Naples with Vesuvius skirted by the lights of Naples just out of the picture on the right. The scene is set, so lets order aperitifs to toast the sunset while we wait for the highlight of the evening, the meal. I’m going for one of Delfino’s specials, Risotto with mussels, clams, squid, octopus and scampi, or perhaps Pasta with clams, zuccine and peeled shrimps, but those Dumplings with smoked cheese and peeled shrimps look tempting ……..

Sunset from Delfino's restaurant Sorrento

Its popularity with the locals and visitors throughout the year says enough about the food and service which are under the constant supervision of the family owners Andrea, Luisa and Roberto (the quiet one). Nothing more to add except it is advisable to book in advance for an outside table. Buon appetito!

Delfino in Sorrento

Restaurant Bagni Delfino
Marina Grande, Sorrento
tel: 081 878 2038


Sorrento Holiday Offers

Wine of the month

Friends of Sorrento brings you reviews on wines from Southern Italy courtesy of Richard Ballantyne, Master of Wine. This month’s recommendation is:
Sergio Arcuri 2014 Cirò Classico Superiore ‘Aris’.

Aris wine fom Sergio Arcuri

CalabriaCalabria is a little off the beaten track so you could be forgiven for having never heard of the wines from this region. We have discovered one outstanding producer whose wines are incredibly stylish and authentic.

Sergio Arcuri is a fourth generation wine producer in the DOC of Cirò where the grape variety of Gaglioppo is king. Sergio has a very small estate of 4 hectares which includes a parcel of vines planted in 1948, and another planted in 1980.

It’s these old vines that give his wine such depth and complexity. There is no oak in this wine whatsoever – it is fermented in cement tanks, then aged for 18 months in another cement tank underground to keep it cool from the blasting heat of the South of Italy.

Sergio Arcuri Ciro Aris
The wine bears remarkable similarity to top end Barolo for its fragrant notes of dried rose petals, dark berries, dried figs and prunes. The wine is remarkably fresh and lively with great acidity and framed with powerful, but ripe tannins.

The wine is made partly from the vineyard planted in 1948 with the remainder from vines planted in 1980, always from bush vines (Alberello) and it certified organic. Sergio eschews the use of sulphur dioxide in his winemaking, and this wine spends 18 month ageing in an underground cement tank.

Richard Ballantyne MW

This is a truly exciting discovery and we are delighted to introduce you to it. The wine is included in Richard’s 20% Off Italian Wines Offer until end of April. See details


Wine tours from Sorrento

Art jewellery by Daniela Pollio

Ping Art Jewellery Sorrento
PING is the creative studio of Daniela Pollio in the heart of historic Sorrento. From this quiet corner on Piazza S’Antonino flows a wealth of creative art jewellery and miniature sculptures. Creations that could easily have fallen out of story book illustrations and dreams, or uncovered from mystical places and long forgotten civilisations.

Ping Art Jewellery Sorrento

Rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, keyrings and miniatures all seem to have an affiliation with ‘earth’ and ‘people’. Inspiration comes from nature, books and everyday life, including the digital age. Each item lovingly put together and crying out to tell you about itself. Visit the studio, select the piece that captures your imagination and let its story unfold when admirers enquire. Its all part of the experience.

Grimilde & Mufasa
Grimilde is the Whitesnow’s stepmother, Mufasa is the Simba’s dad. The collection is dedicated to the pleasure of reading. A king and his Queen live in a cottage not a castle, with a lot of flowers with human faces. The crowns are on simple chairs not thrones. All the things go out of the books and materialise.
Daniela Pollio

Ping Art Jewellery Sorrento
Daniela Pollio Sorrento

Daniela Pollio
You can browse a publication of Daniela’s collections below and view examples of art jewellery and miniatures on her Instagram and Facebook pages.

The workshop and gallery is located at:

PING Art Jewellery
Piazza S’Antonino 9
Sorrento

miniature-shoes

Collections
PING’s digital publication showing various collections created over the years with photographs and captions in English providing the ideas and inspiration behind each collection.

ping earrings

Pets for life and posterity

dog-mosaic
This mosaic from Pompeii is on display at the Naples National Archaeological Museum*. Another can be seen in Pompeii itself at the entrance to the House of the Tragic Poet with an inscription, Cave Canem (Beware of the Dog) as a warning to strangers and guests.

Remains of a dog have also been excavated from the ruins complete with an inscribed collar demonstrating the devotion between dog and its young master. The dog’s name was Delta and the inscription related how he heroically saved his owner from a wolf attack.
* Image from Wikimedia

dog-group

The centuries have not diminished such an affinity with dogs, and while digital cameras record countless memories there is something special about a more permanent and tangible reminder of companionship.

Just 25 km from Pompeii in the heart of Sorrento, dog lovers can discover their own pet’s lookalike from a range of popular breeds produced in ceramic and delivered to their door. There is even a customised service to reproduce the colours and distinctive features from photographs of a beloved pet.

dog-face

Remind yourself of those fond memories of companionship with a pat on the head of your pet’s sculpture each time you pass. It’s not just dogs on show, but a menagerie of cats, rabbits and other animals from the smallest mouse to the grandest lion.

dog-group-2

If you would like more information about these ceramic pets please complete the form below.

Pets for life

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Ballerì – Shoes with a zest for life

Balleri shoes in Sorrento

Ballerì offers a range of ballet flats hand crafted in Naples with the finest materials. Creative designs by the owner, Gaia de Lizza, encapsulate the colours, traditions and styles reminiscent of the Neapolitan Riviera to match the mood and occasion of the day, be it playful, chic or just chilling out.

The quality of materials and workmanship together with innovative designs lift these flat shoes to a higher level. The Ballerì collections offer a choice suitable for all holiday activities and occasions, from beach party to restaurants or classical concerts.

Balleri shoes Sorrento

Lemon Soul Collection
This is Ballerì’s signature collection with embroidered lemon icons presented on satin and printed cottons in various styles. The range includes sling back, cross and ankle band. Perfect for the holiday spirit and as a reminder of good times on your return.

Eleonora Collection
Ideal for smart casual occasions such as concerts, cocktails, dinners and of course la passeggiata (traditional Italian evening stroll) to see and be seen. Available in suede or leather in different colours.

eleonora
Carla

Carla Collection
Less formal and possibly more casual smart, this round toe style is also available in suede or leather in a choice of colours. Cocktails on the terrace anyone?

Ballerì Boutiques
The Sorrento boutique is just off the main square, Piazza Tasso, but if you can’t wait until your vacation then visit Ballerì’s Online store. This shows the full range of styles and colours to help get you in the holiday mood.

Sorrento: Corso Italia 187
Capri: Piazzetta Cerio 7

Balleri Boutique Sorrento

Autori Capresi Exclusive Linen

autori-capresi-linen-sorrento

Cool linen and a warm welcome

We first discovered Autori Capresi in June 2012 during a passiagata through the narrow streets of historic Sorrento. The shop entrance exuded coolness and drew you in from the sultry street air to appreciate a wonderful selection of exquisite and unique hand crafted clothing using the purest and lightest linen. The owner, Antonio Truppa, and his family are passionate about their linen and the production of high quality customised clothes and accessories.

Carefully selected hats, belts, scarves and sandals complement the linen colours and styles to keep you looking and feeling cool. There are outfits for all ages suitable for ‘lay back casual’ to ‘smart casual’ occasions. Perfect for your Neapolitan Riviera vacation and irresistible presents for the grand children!

Autori Capresi Accessories

Not surprisingly such originality and quality have attracted a worldwide following with visitors becoming members of an exclusive client base. Demand from the Sorrento and Capri outlets together with customised orders from existing clientele means there is no online store. All the more reason to add Autori Caprese to your ‘must see’ list during a visit Sorrento or Capri.

Further examples from the Autori Capresi collections can be seen on their promotional video below and the website with links to instagram and facebook.

Autori Capresi Promotional Video

Outlets

Sorrento: Via P. R. Giuliani 21
Capri: Via Fuorlovado 5

The Art of Wood Inlay in Sorrento

Inlaid Box Sorrento

Visitors to Sorrento will not fail to see examples of the traditional art of wood inlay (intarsia) in all kinds of products, from small souvenir items to intricate pieces of furniture. Examples on a grander scale can be seen on the main entrance and side doors of the Cathedral. These include work done in the 1990’s by local artisans, Guiseppe Rocco and Vincenzo Stinga.

This traditional craftsmanship has passed the test of time and produces stunningly beautiful works of art for modern as well as traditional home interiors. Beyond the souvenir items you will find furniture and decorative accessories that will inspire anyone with a flair for interior design looking for a ‘statement’ piece.

Inlaid tables from Sorento

The Gargiulo & Jannuzzi Store on Sorrento’s main square, Piazza Tasso, offers superb examples of inlaid products to satisfy the creative imagination of any interior designer. These include exquisite decorative boxes and larger statement pieces, all blending traditional workmanship with contemporary tastes.

The Jannuzzi Store has a huge selection of products on display and offers customised design and delivery services. An introduction to the techniques used by the craftsmen is also provided. You get an idea of the range available from their website.

Inlaid boxes from Sorrento

There are a number of other workshops to be discovered in Sorrento where local artisans manufacture a wide selection of traditional and contemporary designs, see below.

To see the development and application of wood inlay since the 19th century, visit the Wood Inlay Museum and Craft Shop (Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea) in the beautifully restored Palazzo Pomarici Santomasi on Via S. Nicola, which is a 10 minute walk from the centre. Exhibits include furniture and objects with incredibly intricate wood inlay by past masters of the craft together with pieces from contemporary designers.

Inlaid objects from Wood Inlay Museum in Sorrento

View this video to see a small selection of wood inlay items together with other historical artefacts on display at the Museum. More information can be found on the official website of the founder Alessandro Fiorentino.

Other workshops
Stinga Tarsia. View their excellent video showing the making of a classic inlaid box. www
Cuomo’s Lucky Store. www
Augusto & Luca. www
Calemma. www
Gargiulo Inlaid. www
Biagio Barile. www

Cocktails at Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria

Signature cocktail menu at the Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento
Selection from the 20 Signature Cocktails

The menu at Bar Vittoria takes a leisurely trip around the world, from Portugal to Germany to Cuba and Japan and eventually back to Italy, with each country inspiring a cocktail. The Madame Bovary from France, the Bollywood from India, the Tartan from Scotland and so forth. The clifftop terrace has stood since 1834 – when the hotel became a favourite stop on the Grand Tour route – and since then the bar has served whiskies to Jack Lemmon, champagne to Marilyn, and pretty much anything a monarch, opera singer or film star might fancy.

On our visit we tried the Flauto di Pan, a take on the Peruvian classic Pisco Sour, delicately flavoured with pineapple and pomegranate. A refreshing aperitif with enough complexity to keep you interested. Then from Italy the Stradivari, a kind of Aperol Spritz/Negroni cross, adding limoncello and moscato wine. And from the US, maybe our favourite, the Marilyn: a boozy after-dinner sipping drink made with bourbon, Ancho Reyes (a chili liqueur which gives a little kick) and Amaro 18 – Italian bitters made with aromatic herbs. There’s also a little waiter theatre to enjoy…our Stradivari was poured and topped with prosecco in front of us from a silver trolley, and the ladies at the neighbouring table enjoyed a live martini-mixing.

The Flauto di Pan
The Flauto di Pan (“panflute”) with Vesuvius in the background

The signature cocktails were created by head barman Gerardo Oliva, whose CV includes the Capri Palace in Anacapri, and the Castello del Nero Hotel & Spa in Tuscany. And there are lots of little menu details that nod to history or culture or local mythology. The Liquore delle Sirene pops up in a few drinks, an Italian liqueur of 23 botanicals including Mediterranean fruit and flowers, Asian sweet spices and bitter roots from the Americas. It’s used in their Parthenope cocktail, named after a Siren in Greek mythology. (The Sirenusas are an archipelago of islands between Capri and Positano – the name a reference to the sirens said to have lived there and lured sailors to their doom.)

The prices here aren’t for the faint-hearted: the cocktails are 18 euros each. But, remind yourself, this is a once-in-a-lifetime drinks experience. And to soften the blow, they don’t skimp on the nibbles. At the very least you can expect a generous trio of crisps, toasted almonds and big sweet green olives (according to a quick internet search, Castelvetrano olives from Siciliy). We were also brought a plate of tasty amuse-bouches – cream cheese and chorizo in shortcrust-pastry boxes, miniature pizzas, and bitesized basil and mozzarella sandwiches.

Cocktails and canapes at the Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento
Champagne cocktail, the Stradivari and snacks aplenty

It goes without saying that you can order off-menu – the barman will make any classic cocktail on request. We had a great gin martini the night after too. For me, the only things missing from the menu were a few good craft beers. Granted it might not be their priority (and maybe Campania hasn’t been hit by the craft-beer craze like the UK) but it couldn’t hurt to add to the omnipresent bottle-of-Peroni.

The bar hosts live music every Friday night, including international jazz artists. On our visit, a quieter Wednesday, there was a pianist on the terrace playing the traditional Italian songbook – Torna a Surriento etc.  I personally find this kind of music a little sentimental, and preferred the modern tracks they had in the background later into the night. (Hearing a contemporary sound in a historical setting can be strangely magical.) That said, some might consider a traditional soundtrack part of the Excelsior experience.

View from the bar terrace at sunset
View from the bar terrace at sunset

And then of course there’s the view. Honestly it’s a fight to not spend the whole time reaching for your phone – and I did find myself wishing that people were a little less phone centric – because the sunset is breathtaking. If you’re visiting Sorrento but not staying at the Excelsior, you’d do very well to head down to Bar Vittoria (check beforehand what time the sun sets) and see for yourself why it’s such a firm favourite.

by Sam Edwards
www