We were able to sleep in a little bit this morning before heading to the train station in Florence. After some confusion as to which train company to book with and an extra 30 minute wait, we were on the train to Naples. To get to Sorrento from Naples you can go by a separate railway (the Circumvesuvo) or you can take the ferry over. We opted for the railway as the ferry would have required an extra subway or cab ride to the harbor. Looking back, we recommend finding a way to the harbor to take the ferry, because the Circumvesuvo was tiny, dirty, and absolutely crammed with people. We had our luggage as well and it was just a miserable 75 minute ride. Upon arrival at the train station in Sorrento we were at the high side of town and our Airbnb was down on the water. Since we were frustrated from the train ride, we opted for simplicity and hopped into a waiting taxi… another mistake, as the meter was ticking up every 30 seconds by more than a Euro each tick. In the end it cost about 25 Euro for a 5 minute cab ride down to the water… the biggest ripoff we encountered in Italy.
Surriento Suites B&B
Our room was right on the water of Marina Piccola and was absolutely beautiful, clean, and had both great amenities and a great view from the awesome sitting room. The decor in the room was perfect for the airy beach vibe with brilliant blue hues, awesome tile work (wish we had better photos of the to-die-for tile pattern), and a bay window offering fantastic light and views. Pamela, our host, was probably the nicest person we met on the entire trip. She was so friendly and provided us extremely detailed dinner recommendations when we asked via WhatsApp. She had prosecco and pastries waiting for us when we arrived to welcome us to Sorrento and congratulate us on our marriage. Breakfast at the café right outside on the water was also included, which was great because they had omelettes and we had been craving some hearty breakfast. Highly, highly recommend this place to anyone planning to stay in Sorrento. We checked in, showered, and headed off to check out the town.
Sorrento is a really neat town – it’s both on the water and up on the Cliffside (similar to the Cinque Terre towns) so it has some beautiful views. It also has a great view of Mt Vesuvius and is super close to Capri and the Amalfi coast. Sorrento was up there with Siena as our favorite places of the trip. We took the (pay to use) elevator up from the marina level to the main town piazza and walked to the restaurant Pamela suggested to make a reservation for dinner. The restaurant was on the main street, so we wandered around and checked out a couple of the shops. Sorrento is known for lemons and apparently woodworking, so there were a lot of cool and unique souvenir shops around to browse. It’s apparently also a haven for British vacationers, as we saw multiple British style pubs on the main drag as well as multiple British couples getting married at the church in town. We circled back to the main piazza and had some drinks on the patio overlooking the water from the cliffside until our 7pm dinner reservation.
Pamela recommended this restaurant as we had mentioned wanting seafood and views. This restaurant is not on the water or the cliff so doesn’t have typical scenic views, but the interior is the most luscious landscape I can possibly imagine within an establishment. The whole place was indoor/outdoor with a canopy of trees and vines as well as blooming flowers of every variety including the typical lemon trees of Sorrento. Viewing this place from the street you would never guess there is a beautiful jungle awaiting inside. This restaurant was HUGE but still fills up, so certainly worthwhile to make a reservation. We had an early reservation around 7 PM so there weren’t many people there yet, but by the time we left at 8:30-9ish it was full. We were trying to select regional wines so we asked the waiter to recommend a local red and he selected the Amalfi Coast Furore which we ended up loving. We had the assorted seafood antipasti, similar to the misti di mare of Cinque Terre (not as good as in Cinque Terre but still so fresh and delicious). One of the reasons we chose this restaurant from the few Pamela mentioned was because she spoke of their gnocchi which was one Italian favorite we hadn’t tried yet; so we ordered a gnocchi dish which was the best plate we had at O Parruchiano. We also had some zuchinni chips that were very good. We enjoyed a dessert that neither of us remember much about except that it was delicious. O Parruchiano had good food, besides the gnocchi nothing was exceptional, but we would definitely recommend this establishment because of the decor and great service.
After dinner we strolled through the cliffside town a bit more before taking the elevator back down to the water. The water has some sandy beach area where local teens were gathering to swim and hang out. This city was just right for us, not too big, not too crowded, great wine, great seafood and great views – we were very content with Sorrento after only a half day visit.