Cloister of San Francesco (Chiostro di San Francesco)
Sorrento walking tours and shore excursions almost always include a stop at the lovely Cloister of San Francesco, an open-air garden filled with bougainvillea and ivy climbing over arcades of soft tufa stone and rubble from early pagan temples. In summer, art exhibitions and concerts take place in the charming space, which is also one of Sorrento’s most popular wedding venues.
Visit the cloister during a small-group tour of the resort town’s highlights, or join a day trip that includes Sorrento along with historic Amalfi Coast fishing villages.
Things to know before you go
- The Cloister of San Francesco is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, though many of the streets in Sorrento’s historic center are narrow and paved with cobblestones.
- Modest clothing is required to enter the church and cloister.
- The cloister is one of the prettiest sights in Sorrento, so don’t forget your camera.
How to get there
The Cloister of San Francesco is a short walk from Piazza Tasso and other important attractions. You can take the elevator up to the clifftop from the port below, and cross the Villa Comunale gardens to the church and cloister opposite.
When to get there
If you’re in Sorrento in the high season summer months, stop by the serene cloister and church for a quiet break from sightseeing and souvenir shopping.
The History and Architecture of the Church and Cloister of San Francesco
In the 14th century, Franciscan friars converted an oratory into a church with baroque elements and a simple white facade that was rebuilt in 1926. Inside, several richly decorated chapels adjoin the single nave, and in 1992, a bronze statue of St. Francis by Roman sculptor Alfiero Nena was placed outside. Linking the church to the monastery, the cloister dates from the seventh century and unites various architectural styles, from Arabic to medieval.
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- Tasso Theater (Teatro Tasso)
- Piazza Tasso
- Sorrento St. Anthony Basilica (Basilica di Sant’Antonino)
- Sorrento Foundation (Fondazione Sorrento)
- Correale di Terranova Museum (Museo Correale di Terranova)
- Via Capo
- Punta del Capo
- Baths of the Queen Giovanna (Bagni della Regina Giovanna)
- Mt. Faito (Monte Faito)
- Spaggia Grande Beach
- Marina Grande
- Emerald Grotto (Grotta dello Smeraldo)
- Coral Museum (Museo del Corallo)