Lemons, leather and limoncello; holidays to Sorrento put you high above the sea inside the ancient walls of an utterly pretty medieval town

There’s floating sun decks at the edge of volcanic sands, Michelin starred dining in the stone vault of a former monk’s cellar and the scent of leather and lemons along the ancient cobblestoned streets of Via San Cesareo. This tiny town, flooded with jasmine, wisteria and mimosa is the place to come if you fancy a perch high above the sea dipping in and out sun drenched pools, meandering through a labyrinth of Roman alleyways and following splendid walking trails through the Lattari mountains.

Holidays to Sorrento are all about ditching the plan, stopping here or there for limoncello or gelato and darting in and out of cathedrals and museums steeped in Roman Empire history. We love the sleepy fishing village feel of Marina Grande - whose famous seafood lunches are outstanding - the secret cove of Baia di Ieranto and the shallow, family friendly waters of Puolo. We also love cliff top cocktails overlooking the Bay of Naples, the steep sloping lemon and orange grove terraces as you drive the Amalfi Coast Road and the old town’s charming cathedral and historic lanes filled with lacework and intarsio. It’s all fairytale pretty and otherworldly, bustling with family-run restaurants, old artisanal workshops and Villa Communale’s grand Mount Vesuvius views: and all just a hydrofoil away from the Naples and Capri.

Following in the company of greats including Goethe, Byron and Wagner whose holidays to Sorrento where long and frequent, you’re perfectly placed for alfresco Champagne dinners, hotels decked out in age-old frescoes, wooden jetties suspended on stilts over the Tyrrhenian Sea and the captivating remains of ancient walls.

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