Tree-lined, snaking and overlooking the vast Bay of Naples, the roads around Sorrento are nothing short of thrilling for adventurers. Pastel-hued buildings spill down the rugged hillsides, all cloaked in greenery, and they frame those all-important holiday pics so well. These views of the Amalfi Coast will be yours to soak up every mile of as you drive around, so how about hiring a car?
If you’re yet to decide on your mode of transport, here’s where we’d recommend venturing around on four wheels...
Around Sorrento Centre
While zipping around Sorrento Centre like film stars in a classic Italian flick has its aesthetic appeal, it’s handy too. You’ll find quite a few places to park your car, including a multi-storey near Piazza Tasso, as the locals tend to favour motorised modes of transport.
But having your own wheels is particularly useful on the legs, as Sorrento’s a very tiered town. If you’re planning to wander to Marina Grande, you’ll enjoy walking past all the colour-clad, wisteria-draped houses. As for Marina Piccola, where most boat trips set sail from, it’s got various parking spots and it’s much easier to drive down than taking the steep stairs. The turning circles and corners can be tight, so a smaller, pluckier model is well worth booking!
The Corso Italia
You can’t beat the freedom of the open road. Go under your own steam, when you fancy, where you want to point the satnav. And better yet, most of the main sights are connected via one long road, the Corso Italia, which runs from Meta through the central thongs.
While the stretch unravels into a street of chic shops, unmissable gelaterias and trendy eateries if you hop out and go on foot, stay in the driver’s seat and you’ll literally be on the straight and narrow. It’s all easy-access, A-to-B here.
Sorrento’s snuggled between some impressive neighbours, including Sant’Agnello, which you can reach via road within less than ten minutes. There’s a church in a typically lemony shade, plenty of curbside cafés for a bite to eat, and some convenience stores for on-the-go snacks too.
Meta is further north-west and it’s crowned by the grand, snow-white Basilica Pontificia della Madonna del Lauro, so you won’t miss it as you ride past! Continue to Seiano and you’ll see lots of rustic urban scenery as you go. Pause for a quick coffee and a mooch around, then jump back into the car and decide where to next.
En route to Naples
Head north, following the tunnel from Vico Equense and the signs for Naples. That way, you’ll be in the right direction to visit the epic, vast site of Pompeii, where what remains of the volcanic destruction is preserved and explorable. There are amphitheatres, columns, mosaics, and you’ll even spot the Pink Floyd exhibition. And if you’re especially interested in digging into the history, Mount Vesuvius itself sits in the background and you can park up to conquer the paths there.
Cathedrals, palaces, piazzas, museums... the list of culture you can unearth in the port city of Naples is long! Sense-stirring seafront promenades, awe-inspiring art galleries and hip bars add to the mix, but as the birthplace of pizza, you know what your first port of call should be. Thick slabs of oozy mozzarella atop full-flavour tomato sauce and wood-fired dough? You’ve got it – and the classic margherita’s always topped with a sprig of basil. Bellissimo! If that’s not worth paying for parking, we don’t know what is.
The Amalfi Coast
Go coastal and embark on the twisty yet iconic route towards Amalfi and stop in Positano. It’s a hailed must-do that locals and tourists all rave about as one of Europe’s most jaw-dropping drives. So we recommend finding one of the vantage points en route to swing into and safely park up in, to snap photos of the far-spanning vistas. This is quintessential Sorrento at its peak.
Once you’re in Positano, those layered levels rear their head again, so make use of one of the carparks and wander down the stairways to reach the beach. There are lots of ceramics shops and pasta-serving restaurants down there as well, which means things get a bit more leisurely the lower you go.
It’s time you hit the road!
Posted: 30th Aug 2023.