Many visitors to Naples select Sorrento as their home base. Ferry boats, hydrofoils, trains and buses provide transport to Naples, Pompeii, Ischia and the Campi Flegrei in one direction, and Amalfi, Positano and Capri in the other. With a resident population of around 17,000, and as many visitors in summer, Sorrento is well equipped. It also suffers from crowds and snarled traffic. However, if you’re short on time, it is easy to overlook the congestion. Sorrento’s postcard-perfect position on a high cliff overlooking the sea and its strategic proximity to everything southern Italy has to offer makes it consistently popular.

The countryside and charming villages immediately surrounding Sorrento are particularly lovely with festoons of lemon groves (lemoncello is mass-produced here). If you like scenic drives, rent a scooter or car in Sorrento and drive in any direction, or take a local bus. Public transport is slow, but it is the best way to meet the talkative, friendly people.

Those who love country walks also love Sorrento. A network of footpaths links the city with surrounding villages. For example, you can set out on foot from the city centre at 9am and reach the first church established by St Peter in Europe in about three or four hours. The church is situated in the picturesque fisherman’s village of Crapolla, which is only accessible on foot. A secluded beach nearby is the perfect place to spend the afternoon.

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