I have to admit, I knew zero things about Sorrento before we arrived. Usually when I travel, I’m a huge planner — I do all the research, I plan all the outings, I learn all the history. And for some reason, I just kind of threw caution to the wind on this section of our Italy trip. In Florence and Rome I had some goals and plans (be sure to read both of those posts for lots of tips!) but in Sorrento, we were more footloose and fancy free. And it made for some really amazing adventures. Read on for our favorite things to do in Sorrento with kids (or adults!).
Things to Do in Sorrento with Kids
Sorrento is such a charming, beautiful little town. We drove in from Naples and there was one moment when the Sorrento coast came into view as we were rounding a curve — the cliffs with their dropoff into the sea, the aqua blue water, the little houses dotting the mountains — it was like a dream.
There are countless tiny streets to wander through, lots of great food, and a ton of fun local shops. It’s probably not a place that I would think of for a family vacation off the top of my head, but the locals were so warm and welcoming to us all, even the kids. We did have our stroller with us, although we used it maybe only half the time. There are lots of spots with stairs or smaller alleyways where it was just easier to leave it behind.
Best Things to Do in Sorrento with Kids
This is a place where you want to kind of relax into the local daily rhythm. After we arrived back home, I started looking up things to do in Sorrento with kids to see if we had missed anything, and what I discovered was that everyone’s advice was to take day trips away from Sorrento! Which totally breaks my heart, because we would have loved more time there to explore the town. I think the key is that you want to go with a sense of adventure. Prepare your kids for the fact that they’ll get to explore little streets, docks, hidden gardens, and more. The pace of life seemed a little slower, so it’s the perfect chance to just take it slow and see where the days take you.
Explore Marina Grande. Follow the little winding path (Via Sopra le Mura) all the way down to the water. (You’ll probably want to ditch your stroller for this one, as it turns into wide steps halfway down). Once you’re down by Marina Grande, let the kids run around! There’s a tiny patch of beach where ours wanted to dig in the black sand for a bit. There are boats to check out, lots of great seafood restaurants, and tons of local culture. There’s even a really great local supermarket down there.
Viewpoints. Some of the most insane views I’ve ever seen were in Sorrento. Head to Villa Comunale park, or Piazza della Vittoria and take it all in. Both of these spots are good for little kiddos run around, too.
Wander the Shops. Sorrento has the most charming little grid of tiny alleyways, filled with shops of all kinds. We actually spent a good amount of time wandering around there and the kids were perfectly happy. We would alternate shops that the grownups were interested in with a gelato stop or a fruit stand or even a toy shop. It was a really fun way to pass a couple of hours.
Hang Out in a Lemon Grove. Just off of Via Bartolomeo Capasso, there’s a working lemon grove that supplies the lemons for lots of the local limoncello. You can go in to the grove and sample the limoncello, and they let you wander around as the farmers are harvesting! There are little picnic tables set up; you can bring a snack and sit and relax while you sample the limoncello. This was such a fun stop for all of us; the kids loved playing in the lemon trees.
Better Yet, DINE In a Lemon Grove. Our first night in town, we followed our host’s recommendation and ate at Ristorante ‘O Parrucchiano La Favorita. Apparently this place is the home of canneloni, so I had to try it — and OHHHHHHmygosh. Next level. But the real fun part about this place is that it’s set into a hill, in the middle of a garden and lemon grove. The setting is sort of unbelievable. This is a white tablecloth type of place, so if your kiddos tend to be squirmy at dinner it might not be for them. But we brought our trusty coloring books and they were just fine.
Sorrento Train. This was one thing we didn’t do but Henry was asking for it the whole time. There’s a little mini-train that you can hop on for a few Euros and it gives you a tour of the whole town. It takes about 30 minutes and is apparently a great way to see the town, especially if you have mobility issues (or little kids 😉 ).
Parco Giochi. A quirky little park that actually feels kind of random in this beautiful town — it’s like a colorful, cartoony playground. Our kids were dying to go and it was closed during the hours that we had available, but they stared longingly at it from outside the gates forEVER. Haha!
Other than that, find a great place for aperitivo or a meal and just sit and watch the people go by! There are so many beautiful little piazzas and parks that I can barely remember them all. Sorrento was such a great town for wandering and exploring, and I’d go back in a heartbeat. Stay tuned for one more Italy post on a few more Amalfi coast cities, and be sure to check out Florence and Rome as well! xoxo