|On the southern side of the Gulf of Naples, with a splendid panoramic position,
stands Sorrento. According to tradition, the name derives
from the Sirens, mythical creatures who enthralled sailors
with their song.
Perhaps founded by the Teleboi, the presumed conquerors of Capri, over the
centuries Sorrento was subjected to the domination of many
peoples: first the Samnites, then the Romans, and in 552,
the Byzantines. At the beginning of the ninth century it became
a Free Duchy, but from 1133 it was subjected to Norman domination.
Then Sorrento was passed on to the Angevins, later the Aragonese,
and finally the Bourbons.
The peninsula was a favourite seaside resort for Roman nobility who built grandiose
villas. Some ancient villas still remain, although now as
In the 18th century,
Sorrento underwent the reforms of Charles III, and in the
19th century became a favourite place for artists, men of
letters, and musicians from all over the world who drew inspiration
from the beauty of the surrounding landscape for their works.
Boasting many varied and impressive options for vacationers,
the Marina Grande and Marina Piccola, modern hotel accommodation
and efficient conference centres, Sorrento is today one of
the most famous and visited holiday centres in the region,
and in the whole of Italy. It is also noted for its citric
fruit production, especially lemons, as well as walnuts and
exquisite wines. Lace and woodcarving crafts, with their ancient
origins, are also still flourishing.