Sights & Monuments

Sightseeing in Sorrento and all historical buildings of Sorrento

Sights and Monuments


Sorrento offers some beautiful sights that are definitely worth a visit.


The "Valle dei Mollini"

Directly below the square Piazza Tasso, in the heart of Sorrento, you can look down into a valley, which is called "Valle dei Mollini"  (Valley of the mills). From the exact spot where once was a bridge called "Ponte dei Mollini", you can see down into the canyon where you can still detect the remains of old buildings, yet they are today abundantly covered with vegetation. In the mediaeval times this valley used to be of great importance for the productivity of the city, as the mills to grain the corn and the sawmill of the town was located here. The artisans of Sorrento used to obtain their wood for the traditional marquetry here. Today, only relicts of the decayed buildings are visible, as the construction of the modern city above the valley turned the canyon into wetlands. But precisely this valley is the location of the oldest settlement of Sorrento, because here they found the remains of a prehistoric settlement.




The Basilica of San Antonio


The Basilica of San Antonio, dedicated to the city's patron Saint Antonio, is the prettiest of Sorrento’s churches, even though it doesn’t seem very interesting from the outside, due to its simple white facade. The facade was rebuilt in the 20th century in the Romanesque style, but the church itself was built much earlier, yet no reliable records of the exact construction date exist. It is believed though that the church has been constructed in the 9th century AD.

Upon entering the interior of the basilica you will be surprised by the opulence of the nave. The central nave of the basilica is separated from the side aisles with six arches and it is beautifully decorated with gold and marble and the artistic frescoes tell stories of the local sailors and the natural forces of the sea. The interior was restored in later centuries in the style of Baroque and with much stucco.



Recommendation: Ask for the side chapel, where you can admire a beautiful, old crib. It is one of the masterpieces of Neapolitan crib art.


Franciscan monastery with cloister

Next to the "Basilica San Antonio" is an old Franciscan monastery with a beautiful, contemplative cloister. The cloister was changed over and over again, and over the centuries a mix of architectural styles from different periods of the mediaeval ages emerged, and oriental influences are visible in the pointed arches. Despite the different styles, the architecture as such seems incredibly harmonized, and a pleasant peace welcomes you in the shady corridors surrounded by ample greenery and colorful flowers.


The Cathedral „Cattedrale SS. Filippo Giacomo"

The Cathedral of Sorrento, the " Cattedrale SS. Filippo Giacomo " is dedicated to the Virgin Mother, and is located in the street Corso Italia, near the main shopping street Via San Cesareo. The Romanesque church dates back to the 15th century and was built on the remains of an even older church. Four ancient columns can be detected on the façade of the belfry. Taking a closer look at the bell tower, one can also see two ancient altar stones built into the bricking. The rest of the facade was reconstructed in the early 20th century, just like the Basilica San Antonio – resembling a Neo-Gothic style. The marble interior is decorated with beautiful mural art and woodcuts. The intarsia works that are very typical for this region are new, made in the last few years, but nonetheless they are daedal examples of the craft. The woodcuts tell of the turbulent history of Sorrento.


The Museo Correale di Terranova

The "Museo Correale di Terranova" is located in a noble palace in the Via Correale and well worth seeing. Here you will find an impressive exhibition of antique furniture with the typical intarsia works, paintings from the 17th to 19th century, as well as ornate vases, porcelain and majolica from the region. Some ancient artifacts that have been found in Sorrento and the surrounding area are also exhibited. Behind the noble palace is a beautiful park with an orange grove, which is especially beautiful in the winter when the oranges color the grove. Take some time to walk through the grove to the "Belvedere", a vantage point directly above the steep slopes of the Sorrento coastline. Here you can probably enjoy the most beautiful, panoramic view of the Bay of Naples.


The town gate “Arco Romano”

Although Sorrento was already founded by the Phoenicians, not many remains of ancient life can be found in the urban area of Sorrento, yet an impressing Roman town wall and a town gate built by the Greeks were preserved. The town gate "Arco Romano" and the old walls can be visited in the street “Via degli Aranci”. Almost a kilometer of the old town wall has been preserved.


The ports of Marina Piccola and Marina Grande

Last but not least you should end your sightseeing tour with visiting the city’s fishing port "Marina Grande". In order to reach the port you have to take the long stairway to climb down the steep cliffs. Note that there is also a port with a beach called "Marina Piccola" - but this port is not as nice to look at as the large port. Pass the hotels “Syrenuse” and “Tramontano” to reach the curvy stairway that takes you down to the beach.


"Marina Grande" is a truly picturesque harbor. The harbor lies sheltered in a fairly small and rocky bay, right in front of the steep cliffs on which the urban area of Sorrento is built. With the waves gently rocking the colorful boats and cutters and the colorful houses on the shore, it seems to be a place where time stands still. In Roman times a great mansion was located here, where the nephew of the emperor Augustus lived in. He also appreciated this wonderful bay!

Today you can find some nice restaurants and small shops at the harbor. The best time to visit the port “Marina Grande” is the early evening, when the fishermen bring in their boats and nets and the last rays of the sun bathe the colorful harbor in a picturesque light.