One of the great pleasures of the day is to join the locals in their traditional stroll or passegiata through the old town, a ritual that begins at dusk and continues well into the evening. Wander the same streets by day when the shops are open, and you will be tempted by an array of local crafts such as perfume, lace, straw plaiting and inlaid walnut woodwork, Sorrento's speciality.
The graceful peak of Mt Vesuvius is visible from most places. Sorrento is not only an attraction in itself, but serves as an ideal base for visiting nearby sights, such as the picturesque villages of the rugged Amalfi coastline, Naples and the ancient sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum are all within easy reach.
Daylight brings an array of water sports, tennis, or simply watching the world go by from a cafe terrace. Frequent religious events and processions are held at the Cathedral. There are also some fantastic archaeological and cultural museums.
Night time offers a few discos and piano bars. A cinema with films dubbed in Italian. Atmospheric Foreigners' Club with live music. Classical-music concerts in the cloisters of San Francesco in the summer. 2 British-style pubs and a theatre. Many hotels, particularly the far-flung, have musical evenings and dancing.
There is an Impressive choice of pizzerias and restaurants, with the emphasis on S Italian cuisine. Plenty of authentic trattorias and ice-cream parlours (some of which offer over 40 flavours). Local specialities include seafood, various almond cakes and tarts, and smoked or grilled cheeses.
Local excursions can be taken to Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Paestum, Naples, Ischia, Vesuvius and local titbits, the Baths of Diana, scene of pagan rites, and the Grottoes of the Mermaids. Yacht cruises.