Despite not being as big as places like Rome, Venice and Florence, Sorrento is one of the most visited locations in Italy by tourists and travellers. As the gateway to the popular Amalfi Coast and home to beautiful views and famous sightseeing attractions, it’s a great place to visit for a short coastal break or as a base to explore other nearby locations like Pompeii.
Sorrento is perched on top of cliffs overlooking the famous Bay of Naples in the Campania region and has been a favoured holiday destination since Roman times, when wealthy families would come and build villas overlooking the ocean where they would come and spend their summers. Its popularity grew again in the 19th century when Sorrento became a recommended stop on ‘The Grand Tour’ that wealthy young men and women would go on after finishing their education.
Now, Sorrento is a town where the modern and historic are blended together, with remains of the past still found along the cliffs alongside new developments and tourist attractions. The Bay of Naples is a very popular part of Italy for all kinds of travellers who come to enjoy the Mediterranean climate, top-rating tourist attractions and exceptional local cuisine, and Sorrento is one of its most-visited destinations.
Whilst the summer months are some of the most popular times to visit Sorrento, coming to the town in September means that you miss the expensive and crowded peak season but still get to enjoy warm weather.
We’ve put together this guide to Sorrento in September with everything you need to know about how to get the best out of your holiday.
Despite it being the start of autumn in Sorrento in September, those visiting the town at this time of year will still be able to enjoy relatively hot and sunny weather. If you’re not a fan of intense heat and humidity then this is probably the best time of the year to visit Sorrento, as it gets much cooler in the evenings than in the summer and temperatures gradually fall as the month goes on.
The average temperature in Sorrento in September is around 21°C, with highs of 26°C that can feel very warm when the sky is clear and there isn’t much of a breeze. The average low temperature is 15°C during the month which is quite a bit of a drop, so make sure that you’ve packed enough layers to cope with the cooler weather when the sun has gone down.
There is an average of 8 hours of bright sunshine every day in this part of Italy, so you’ll get plenty of chances to go out and enjoy the sunshine on the beaches around the town. The weather in Sorrento in September is also relatively dry, with around 9 days during the month experiencing rain and occasional thunderstorms because of the high and humid temperatures.
Spending time on the beach or out on the ocean is a very popular way to spend a holiday in Sorrento, particularly because the average water temperature at this time of year is a pleasant 25°C.
How to Get There
Sorrento is located on the southern coast of Italy, overlooking the famous Bay of Naples. As one of Italy’s most popular travel destinations, there are a variety of transport options available to reach the town from elsewhere in Italy and further afield.
Most people visiting Italy from abroad choose to arrive by plane, but the relatively small size of Sorrento means that your nearest airport is actually 50km away in the city of Naples. There are direct flights from most other major locations to Naples Capodichino International Airport, but you will need to plan alternate transportation from there to reach Sorrento.
Luckily, there is a good selection of different ways to get to Sorrento from Naples. Shuttle buses run from the airport to the town during the high season for tourism and there is also a good bus service that connects the town with Naples, as well as frequent buses around Sorrento itself.
It is also possible to get to Sorrento entirely by train, as there is a Circumvesuviana service that connects the town to Naples and is a pretty cheap and efficient way of travelling between the two locations. Travelling at peak commuting times on this train can be a bit cramped and uncomfortable however, and there is no way of reserving seats or space for luggage.
A great way to get to Sorrento is by ferry, sailing along the southern coast of Italy to the town. A lot of ferry services from other nearby countries dock in Naples, where it is then possible to catch a small, regular service that travels down the coast to Sorrento, offering beautiful views as you travel.
Finally, if you don’t want to take your chances with public transport services then you can drive to Sorrento and get around the area by car. However, be aware that the town is known for having pretty bad traffic at all times of the day and parking is very limited, so this is probably only a good option if you’re staying a bit further out or are planning on seeing a lot of the southern coast.
Things to See and Do
September is a great month of the year for holidays in Sorrento when you can make the most of enjoying some of the best tourist attractions and activities in the area without having to share the experience with lots of other travellers. Here are some of the best things to fill your time with.
Indulge in Local Food
Food along the southern coast of Italy is renowned for its high quality, and you’ll find plenty of exceptional examples of this regional cuisine in Sorrento. When visiting the town in September, there’s no better way to enjoy the milder evenings than by dining outdoors with a view of the sea as the backdrop to your meal, enjoying the fresh flavours that have come from the landscape around you.
Several local specialities that we recommend you try include eggplant parmigiana, octopus casserole, gnocchi alla sorrentina or cannelloni with ricotta, as well as any kind of fresh seafood. For dessert, you have to try anything sweet that has lemon as its signature ingredient, as the citrus fruit is grown all over this area and is famous for its flavour.
Spend Time at the Beach
On days when the weather is hot, there’s no better place to be than the beaches around Sorrento. It’s not a typical seaside destination because it is built high up on the cliffs, but there are sandy beaches nearby that will be relatively quiet in September and are ideal for sunbathing and taking refreshing dips in the water.
Some of the beaches around Sorrento belong to private beach clubs that require payment on entry, but there are places like the little beach at Marina Grande and nearby Puolo that are free to use.
Enjoy Historic Sightseeing
There are plenty of excellent sites in and around Sorrento that are ideal for history fans. You can start in the Old Town which is right at the heart of the area, enjoying the classic Italian architecture and bustling atmosphere.
The Romanesque Cathedral of Sorrento is another must-see, or you can visit even older architectural ruins at the dramatic Vallone dei Mulini. The Sedil Dominova in the middle of the town is a very interesting spot if you like to learn about the political background of your holiday destinations, and you’ve got the nearby famous destination of Pompeii for the ultimate historic sighting trip.
Take a Boat Trip
When the weather is fine and the water is calm, there’s no better way to really appreciate the beauty of Italy’s southern coast than a boat trip. Whether you’re just catching a ferry to travel further along to another town or have hired your own vessel for an expedition out to sea, you can enjoy dramatic views of the Bay of Naples from the water and enjoy the warm weather surrounded by endless blue ocean and sky.
Explore the Bay of Naples
Sorrento has a lot going for it, but if you’re in the area for a longer holiday then you may want to explore a little farther afield and see more of the Bay of Naples. There are great bus, train and ferry services connecting some of the most popular destinations, so it’s easy to plan a day trip without having to organise transportation yourself.
The glamorous Amalfi Coast is right on your doorstep just around the corner from the Bay of Naples, but you’ve also got historic locations like Pompeii and Herculaneum that won’t be as busy in September as they are over the summer. Visiting the city of Naples itself is also a great way to spend the day, enjoying a famous Italian city and sampling the famous Neapolitan pizza in its birthplace.
Hop to Capri
One of the most recommended things to do in Sorrento in September is to take a boat trip and hop across to Capri; a small island floating on the edge of the Bay of Naples. As the tourist season begins to wind down you’ll find that this beautiful island empties and those visiting in September get the chance to enjoy the gorgeous beaches, quaint coastal towns and rugged island scenery in peace.
The first thing we’d recommend for those planning holidays in Sorrento in September is to bear in mind that, at the start of the month in particular, some resorts and tourist attractions may still be quite busy with travellers who are still on their summer holidays. If you’re looking for a quieter and less busy experience of the town, we recommend you plan your trip towards the end of the month.
It’s also worth remembering that whilst Sorrento weather in September can be very sunny and warm during the day, temperatures drop quite a bit in the evenings once the sun has set. When you’re out and about later in the day, make sure that you have a jacket or a jumper with you in case it gets chilly, and be prepared for overcast days throughout the month as well.
Whilst driving to Sorrento can be a great idea if you’re touring the coast and staying in holiday accommodation on the edges of the town, if you’re just going to be spending your trip in Sorrento it is not recommended that you bring or hire a car. The roads throughout the town are often very clogged with traffic, and parking across the area is very expensive and not often worth the hassle of finding and paying for a space.
Finally, public transport services tend to wind down after the busy summer months in most parts of Italy, so whilst there will still be good bus, train and ferry services to other destinations around Sorrento, these services may not be as frequent as during the peak summer season.
To discover more about holidays in Sorrento in September and what else you can enjoy on your trip to Italy, check out the rest of the Italian Breaks website for when to go, where to stay and what to do.