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Sorrento is high on a beautiful plateau, overlooking the sapphire blue Gulf of Naples, with Mount Vesuvius beyond.

The last town of significance on the end of a peninsula, Sorrento is solely and unashamedly a resort. Affordable restaurants and accommodation aren't hard to find; there's really no better place outside Naples itself from which to explore the peninsula, islands and Amalfi coast.

It's wonderful to wander the streets that feed into the square, some of which are pedestrianized for the lively evening passeggiata.

The local Museo Correale di Terranova has examples of the local inlaid wood intarsio work as well as some paintings, including an obscure Rubens, and various local archeological finds. Sorrento isn't particularly well endowed with beaches – though there are a few small ones.

Nevertheless, Sorrento’s inspired location and mild climate have been drawing travelers from all over Europe for almost 200 years. Ibsen wrote part of Peer Gynt in Sorrento, Wagner and Nietzsche had a well-publicized row here, and Maxim Gorky lived here for over a decade.

It's a bright, lively place that retains its southern Italian roots.