If you’re looking for that “la dolce vita” vibe of the Italian riviera, but the steep climbs and crowded towns of the Amalfi Coast are too much, Sorrento is an excellent alternative. Its welcoming resort town atmosphere is more family-friendly than exclusive outposts like Positano, and it’s perfectly positioned for day trips to destinations along the Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast by land or sea.
Sorrento was our favorite seaside destination in southern Italy when our sons were little, and we found its relatively flat old town and mid-range hotels easier on our kids (and our budget). Here’s how to enjoy an unforgettable family getaway over three days in Sorrento.
Beach breaks are a must in summer; wet, windy weather often interrupts ferry routes in winter.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a family-friendly pizza-making lesson.
Familiarize yourself and your kids with Sorrento’s old town, marking the best gelaterias and lemon-themed souvenir shops to return to. Schedule time after you explore to run off some steam in the panoramic Villa Comunale gardens or hit the playground behind Villa Fiorentino.
Go hands-on this afternoon with a pizza-making lesson—it keeps kids entertained and involves dinner without the formality of a restaurant. Pizza-making classes in and around Sorrento walk you through how to make a pizza, and it gets cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Visit one of the world’s premier archaeological sites—the ancient ruins of Pompeii are a quick drive or train trip from Sorrento. Touring with a family-friendly guide who knows how to make the Roman ruins come to life for young travelers is a must.
Older kids can take on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius after visiting Pompeii, hiking along the uphill path to the edge of the immense crater left by the volcano that destroyed the Roman city below. Otherwise, reward the morning’s cultural tour with an afternoon at Sorrento’s Marina Piccola or Marina Grande beach.