Why go to Sorrento?
Head to Pompeii, Capri or Naples -- or equally enjoy a day in this picturesque, clifftop town
There's not enough time to do everything! Worse, rough seas might prevent tendering
This scenic spot is a perfect homebase for exploring the Amalfi Coast
Sorrento Cruise Port Facilities?
Sorrento is a tender port, and one that is easily canceled if rough seas don't permit the tenders to run. Tenders dock at Marina Piccola, which is also where the hydrofoil to Capri departs. There's no terminal or any other port facilities.
Marina Piccola is located at the bottom of the cliff upon which the main town of Sorrento perches. Within steps of the tender drop off are souvenir and tobacco shops, a currency exchange office and several cafes. There are also ticket booths where you can buy ferry tickets to destinations like Capri, Naples and Positano, and a staging area to catch a bus or cab.
Good to Know?
Sorrento appears not to believe in pedestrian crossings, so take care when crossing main roads such as around Piazza Tasso. It's not always obvious where the best place to cross the street is, especially with so many cars and Vespas darting about in multiple directions. When you see a clearing, walk quickly and confidently across the road and oncoming traffic should stop.
If you plan on touring the Amalfi Coast independently, pad your schedule with extra travel time, especially during the summer high season. Battling nightmarish traffic on your own could easily cause you to miss your ship. If you want to venture out of town, this is one port where shore excursions can be a lifesaver.
As is common throughout Italy, opening hours are subject to frequent change, fluctuation and whim. We've done our best to list hours accurately, but be sure to confirm before setting out. The same goes for sailing times of ferries and hydrofoils. No matter what a sign says, confirm that the boat you think will get you back in time is really going to be sailing. Even confirm that you're standing in the right spot to catch your boat, train or bus. (We once watched a Sorrento ferry sail off from the dock labeled "Napoli," only to discover it had been our ferry to Capri; at least all the waiting Italians were fooled, too!)
By Foot: The walk from the marina to town takes about 20 minutes and is mostly uphill, involving some 200 steps (not recommended for the faint of leg). While the walk from Sorrento back down to Marina Piccola isn't too bad (the steps start right after the scenic overlook on Via de Maio), most people will prefer to catch a bus up from the tender pier to the main town. If you're not venturing beyond Sorrento proper, you can easily walk to all the attractions, shops and cafes of the city center.
By Elevator: Follow the walkway to the right along the shore (toward the swimming concessions) a few minutes and you'll reach an elevator that takes you to the top of the cliff (1 euro one way or 1.80 euro round trip).
By Bus: From Marina Piccola, the blue bus (buy tickets onboard) heads directly to Piazza Tasso, Sorrento's main square. The orange bus (buy tickets at one of the nearby shops) goes to the Circumvesuviana train station. Intercity buses to destinations along the Amalfi Coast also depart from the train station, but be warned that the roads are winding and in high season, traffic can be heavy. City Sightseeing Sorrento offers a hop-on, hop-off bus tour in the greater Sorrento area, as well as excursions to Ravello, Minori/Maiori and Positano. Buses depart from various locations, depending on the tour. You can buy tickets online, onboard or in authorized agencies, such as hotels.
By Train: The Circumvesuviana Railway runs from Sorrento to Naples, with stops in Pompeii, Herculaneum and other towns. It's very easy to do independent exploration by train. Take the orange bus from the tender pier to the railway station; otherwise, it's a short walk from Piazza Tasso. Trains run about every half-hour.
By Ferry: Catch a ferry or hydrofoil from Marina Piccola to Capri, Naples, Positano or other destinations. The ticket booths and the departure points are steps from the tender drop off. The hydrofoil to Capri should take about 25 minutes.
By Taxi: You can hire a taxi from stands at Marina Piccola or in Piazza Tasso, if you wish to take a cab to nearby destinations or the Amalfi Coast. Be sure to agree on a price before you start driving.
By Car: Various local and international car rental agencies have offices in Sorrento, such as Auto Europe, Europcar and Hertz. However, even if you're willing to brave the twisting coastal road, with summer traffic you're better off taking a ferry or train.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The euro is the currency in use throughout Italy; for current currency conversion rates, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. There's a currency exchange office, but no ATM, near the Marina Piccola tender pier. Once up the hill, ATMs can be found in Piazza Tasso (northeast corner of the square) and just off Piazza Sant'Antonino at the intersection with Via San Francesco. Currency exchange offices are much more prevalent than actual banks.