From magnificent hotels to sweeping sea views, the town of Sorrento exudes pure opulence best enjoyed over a glass of limoncello. But while Sorrento holds a special place in the heart of every luxury lover, it’s also frequented by culture enthusiasts, who are constantly enthralled by its fourteenth-century cathedral, monastery and wealth of other historical landmarks. Of course, the fun doesn’t have to end there – in fact, there are myriad ancient Roman towns in the Campania region that could keep you engaged and entertained for days on end.
What’s the downside to having so many worthwhile archaeological attractions on your doorstep, you ask? Cherry picking the best of the bunch! If you’re looking for inspiration for excursions, all you have to do is book a transfer from Naples Airport to Sorrento, during which you’ll pass some of the region’s finest cultural attractions. Read on to find out what wonders await you in our five favourite places along the way, each of which lends itself to an exciting half-day trip from Sorrento.
A few minutes into your journey from Naples Airport to Sorrento, you’ll drive past Herculaneum, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. While this ancient Roman town was buried and largely destroyed after Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in 79 AD, several of its buildings and streets have been excavated over the past centuries and are open to the public. In addition to the patrician villas, some of which boast lavish frescoes and marble floors, the Roman baths and excavated skeletons are worth seeing with your own eyes. The remarkable history of this town is sure to come alive for you as you’re exploring its ancient sights – why not pretend to be an ancient Roman for a few hours?
2. Torre del Greco
After you’ve uncovered the gems of Herculaneum, head over to the adjacent town of Torre del Greco. As its name suggests, this town was originally inhabited by the ancient Greeks, but later formed part of Herculaneum. Although many visitors have never heard of it, its archaeological treasures are actually just as – if not more – striking than those on Herculaneum’s main excavation site, and include a monastery with 28 frescoes and a villa that dates back to the first century AD. What’s more, Torre del Greco is famous for its bountiful supply of coral – so famous, in fact, that its inhabitants are known as Corallini. After quenching your historical thirst, why not embrace your inner shopaholic by buying one-of-a-kind coral jewellery and brooches to commemorate your trip?
3. Torre Annunziata
A mere stone’s throw from Herculaneum and Torre Greco, your transfer from Naples Airport to Sorrento will zoom past Torre Annunziata, situated at the base of Mount Vesuvius. Much like the aforementioned towns, Torre Annunziata, which used to be known as Oplontis, was largely obliterated by Vesuvius’ eruption, but has given way to astonishing excavations in recent decades. The archaeological site has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, and is most famous for its villa, which was inhabited by Roman Emperor Nero’s second wife, Poppaea Sabrina. From mosaic floors to extraordinary frescoes and even a swimming pool, try to stop your jaw from dropping as you marvel at this telling remnant of what living the Roman Empire’s high life must have entailed.
Of course, a sightseeing trip in Campania would be complete without visiting Pompeii (which is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site on the route from Naples Airport to Sorrento). Thanks to its extraordinary variety of ancient artefacts, this site is easily the most well-known town that was buried under Mount Vesuvius’ debris. While it’s best to spend a good chunk of time exploring everything that Pompeii has to offer, visitors’ all-time favourites are undoubtedly the amphitheatre, which is the oldest surviving one in Italy, and the brothel, which… well, need I say more?
Last but not least, you’ll pass Stabiae on your way from Naples Airport to Sorrento. This ancient town is only a 35-minute bus ride from Sorrento, making it the perfect destination for a quick and easy visit. While it’s often overlooked due to its vicinity to the tourist trove of Pompeii, its low profile will enable you to soak up the sights without blocking out other tourists’ squeals of astonishment.
While the town later belonged to the Roman Empire and was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius’ eruption (surprise!), the area was originally an Oscan and then a Samnite village, as evidenced by pieces of pottery and three hundred sepulchres, some of which date all the way back to the seventh century BC. In addition to these rare relics, Stabiae is home to fourteen excavated Roman villas today, one of which covers an area of more than 11,000 square metres and is among the biggest villas in the Campania region. And as if that weren’t enough to spark your interest, Stabiae also offers matchless views of the Gulf of Naples that are best enjoyed at sunset. Culture, nature and romance all in one!
From Naples Airport to Sorrento
For ancient history and culture lovers, an airport transfer from Naples Airport to Sorrento couldn’t be any more inspiring. As the route’s wide array of ancient towns whizzes past your window, why not chat to your driver about them and start planning your archaeological adventures?
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This route guide has been compiled as an aid to visiting the region. Your airport transfer service from Naples Airport to Sorrento does not include stops to these destinations.