Anchoring offshore shortly after we arrived to the Bay of Naples, we immediately noticed the shear cliffs upon which the town of Sorrento is perched.
Indeed, to get to the center of the village, we would be faced with a climb. It was short but steep -- up winding roads and stairs carved into the hillside -- and it yielded amazing views.
We had come ashore in Sorrento, tendering from our cruise ship Oceania Riviera -- and with an open schedule and no plans, we began our investigation into what this charming village has to offer. Sorrento sits on the eastern coast of Italy, about where you might imagine a buckle on the boot-shaped peninsula. From Sorrento, tourists can take ferries to Amalfi, Naples, Capri, Positano and other destinations.
The town and region is well known for its production of nuts, wine, olives and citrus fruit, especially lemons. You can't wander more than a few feet in any direction before you notice the bright yellow fruit being sold or depicted in arts and crafts. The most ubiquitous usage is for limoncello, however, a popular digestif created from lemon rinds, alcohol, sugar and water.
Many people who visit by cruise ship take excursions to the Blue Grotto on the island of Capri or long bus rides to see Pompeii or Herculaneum, the ancient archaeological sites that were destroyed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Other top sites and attractions right in Sorrento include:
The historic fishing village of Marina Grande, with its colorful wooden boats. The village is connected to the city center by a curvy stone staircase. This is a delightful place, with waterside eateries and the Church of Sant Anna.
Piazza Tasso is the heart of the town. You enter the open space filled with outdoor cafes as soon as you complete your climb from the cruise port below. The periphery is lined with shops, markets and a large church.
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