Julie Italy 35 Comments

Spending three days in Sorrento is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to visit the Amalfi Coast region. Sorrento is a great home base for exploring this part of Italy, as it is well connected to the island of Capri, the Amalfi Coast, and the historic ruins of Pompeii.

This Sorrento itinerary is perfect for those with limited time to the area and those who don’t want to spend a small fortune (spending a small fortune is very easy to do in this part of Italy).

If you have more time, or just want to see more options on ways to plan your time on the Amalfi Coast, take a look at our Amalfi Coast Itinerary (coming soon), which lists multiple ways to spend anywhere from a few days to one week on the Amalfi Coast.

Sorrento Itinerary Day 1

Rome to Pompeii to Sorrento

Morning: Train to Pompeii

Take a morning train from Rome to Naples (about 1.25 to 2 hours travel time). Once in Naples, transfer to the Campania Express Train and take this to Pompeii Scavi. At the train station, store your luggage and visit Pompeii.

For full details on how to do this, check out our guide How to Visit Pompeii when Traveling from Rome to Sorrento.

Midday: Pompeii

Once at Pompeii, you can tour the site on your own, hire a guide, or, do what we did, and follow the guide in the Rick Steves’ Guide Book. Having done the guidebook, we did feel like we were missing out on something, so if we did it again, we would take a guided tour to get the most out of our visit.

It takes 2 to 4 hours to visit Pompeii, depending on whether or not you take a tour and how much interest you have in exploring the full archaeological site.

For pricing, hours, and to purchase tickets in advance, here is the link to the official Pompeii website.


Pompeii | Balate Dorin/shutterstock.com



Afternoon (Optional): Vesuvius

If you are doing well on time, you can visit Mount Vesuvius after Pompeii. From the train station in Pompeii, you can take a bus or a shuttle to Mount Vesuvius and then you will have to walk the remainder of the distance to the summit. Or, you can skip Mount Vesuvius and explore the beautiful town of Sorrento instead.

Afternoon: Travel to Sorrento

Once finished at Pompeii (and Mount Vesuvius), retrieve your luggage, ride the Campania Express Train to Sorrento (this is about a 30-minute journey), check into your hotel, and have dinner. For ideas on things to do in Sorrento, take a look at our article Best Things to Do in Sorrento.

For the Campania Express timetable, click here.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: There are two train lines that run between Naples and Sorrento, the Circumvesuviana and the Campania Express. The Campania Express is a newer, tourist line that makes fewer stops, has air conditioning, and has guaranteed seats. It’s a little more expensive, but having ridden the Circumvesuviana in the hot, crowded summer months, it’s worth it to have AC and a seat. Note: The Campania Express only runs during peak tourist season, which is April through October.

Marina Grande Sorrento

Marina Grande, Sorrento



Limoncello in Sorrento

Sorrento Itinerary Day 2

Capri Day Trip

From Sorrento, it is very easy to day trip to Capri. The top things to do in Capri are to take a boat tour around the island, visit the Blue Grotto, explore the towns of Capri and Anacapri, and ride the chairlift to Monte Solaro. This typically takes one full day.

Monte Solaro Capri

The view from Monte Solaro

 Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto


Via Camerelle

Via Camerelle in Capri

Italy Travel Guide Florence

Sorrento Itinerary Day 3

The Amalfi Coast

There are several different ways to day trip to the Amalfi Coast and the main factor is budget.

On our first trip to the Amalfi Coast, we were on a budget, so we used the public bus system and had a horrible experience. In our experience, the buses were consistently late and on more than one occasion, failed to show up at all. This was in 2014. On our recent visit in 2022, even in October, lines to board the buses were long. So, if you plan to use the bus, have patience and be prepared for long waits.

If you will be in Sorrento in the summer, be aware that traffic jams happen frequently in the summer, with back ups several kilometers long. Buses and cars will get stuck in this congestion. So, even if you hire a driver, you could still end up stuck in traffic.

Getting around by ferry is a better experience in the summer. Not only do you avoid the Amalfi Drive traffic jams, but seeing the Amalfi Coast from the water is gorgeous.

We recommend either getting around by ferry or joining a small boat tour, especially during the summer months.

In one day, you can visit several towns, with Positano and Amalfi being the most popular ones, since they are beautiful and easy to get to, both by bus and ferry.

Ravello is also worth your time, but since it is located high in the hills (not accessible by boat), you will have to take the bus or hire a taxi to get here. It will be more challenging to visit Ravello on a day trip from Sorrento, unless you join a group tour that includes it.

On our day trip from Sorrento, we visited Positano in the morning. We went kayaking here, which was the highlight of the day. After lunch in Positano, we spent a long time waiting for the bus and then visited Amalfi. By the time we finished up in Amalfi, it was mid-afternoon, so we took the bus back to Sorrento, getting to Sorrento between 4 and 5 pm.

Tyler Rivenbark

Kayaking in Positano

 Amalfi Coast Italy

The Amalfi Coast

If you like the idea of taking a guided tour of the Amalfi Coast, either by boat or by driver, here are some of the most highly rated tours on GetYourGuide. One major advantage of booking your tour through GetYourGuide is the ability to cancel your tour within 24 hours and still get a full refund.



Where to Stay in Sorrento

LUXURY: Bellevue Syrene. Perched on the cliffs of Sorrento, this 5-star hotel offers a wide variety of rooms. Most rooms have a balcony with a sea view and you can choose from their long list of suites, some of which come with a hot tub or private pool. The service is impeccable and the views are some of the best in Sorrento. Even if you aren’t staying here

UPSCALE: Bella Sorrento B&B. This small property boasts an excellent location in Sorrento and gets rave reviews by prior guests. Breakfast is served in the garden and some rooms offer views of the sea. If you are traveling as a family, there is a room that can accommodate up to four people.

UPSCALE: Maison La Minervetta. This hotel, with its cliff top setting, offers amazing views over Sorrento, the Bay of Naples, and Mount Vesuvius. Rooms have a nautical theme. If you are looking for a room with an unforgettable view, check out the superior corner suite with sea view. 

MID-RANGE: Vista Mar B&B. This bed and breakfast has a great location in Sorrento. From the rooftop terrace, enjoy stunning views over the city. This property gets exceptional reviews and there is a family room that is perfect for four people.

HOSTEL: Ostello Le Sirene. This hostel is centrally located in Sorrento and has rooms ranging from mixed dormitory and all-male dormitory rooms to private double and quad rooms. It gets good reviews on Booking.com, with good scores for location, staff, and cleanliness, but gets ripped for its mediocre WiFi.

More Information for Your Trip to Sorrento

GETTING AROUND: Learn how to travel from Rome to Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast and how to visit Pompeii when traveling between Rome and Sorrento. We also have a guide to the Best Way to Get around the Amalfi Coast and what it is like to drive the Amalfi Coast.

CAPRI: Get a list of the best things to do in Capri, learn how to plan your day trip to Capri, and find out whether or not the Blue Grotto is worth it.

AMALFI COAST TOWNS: For an overview of where to go, check out our article 17 Beautiful Towns to Visit on the Amalfi Coast. We also have detailed guides about the Best Things to Do on the Amalfi Coast and how to visit Positano and Ravello. Learn how to plan your time with our Amalfi Coast Itinerary.

ITALY ITINERARY: On this 10 day southern Italy itinerary, visit the Amalfi Coast, Castelmezzano, Matera, Alberobello, and more towns in Puglia.

PATH OF THE GODS: The Path of the Gods is a gorgeous hike on the Amalfi Coast.

POMPEII & PAESTUM: Learn how to visit Pompeii when traveling between Rome and the Amalfi Coast. And don’t miss our guide to Paestum, one of the best places to see Greek ruins in Italy.

WHERE TO STAY: For recommendations of where to stay, including Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello, take a look at our Amalfi Coast Hotel Guide.

If you have any questions about how to spend three days in Sorrento, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information about Italy

ITALY ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Italy itinerary, take a look at our 10 Days in Italy Itinerary for five different ways to spend 10 days in Italy.

ROME: For a list of the top experiences in Rome, read our article Best Things to Do in Rome. Learn how to put these together in our 2 Day Rome Itinerary, where to eat in our Rome Restaurant Guide, how to visit the Colosseum, and where to stay in our Rome Hotel Guide.

DOLOMITES: In our article Best Hikes in the Dolomites, we cover 15 epic trails in the Dolomites. Which ones do you want to do?

FLORENCE & TUSCANY: If this is your first visit to Florence, read our guide to the Best Things to Do in Florence. If you are planning a visit to Tuscany, learn how to spend one day in Sienahow to visit Pienza, and the best things to do in San Gimignano.

PUGLIA: Read about 15 beautiful places to visit in Puglia and the best things to do in Alberobello. We also have a guide to the best things to do on the Gargano Peninsula and how to spend one day in Vieste.


We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, and Puglia.


Three days in Sorrento


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Comments 35

  1. Avatar for Jackie

    Hello! Our first time headed to Italy and we are headed to Rome and Sorrento next week for 2 weeks. Thank you for all your blogs, extremely helpful information! Question about pickpocketers – is Sorrento safe to walk around without having to worry about them? Is it safe to just carry a backpack and anything of value in the bottom of it? Any recommendations for Rome as far as pickpocketers?
    Also, do you need to carry your passport with you in either Rome or anywhere on the Amalfi coast or can we just leave them in the safe in the hotel each day?
    Thanks again for sharing all your knowledge and experience. And enjoy the rest of your time in New Zealand – one of my favorite places!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Jackie. We leave our passports in hotel when we travel, whether we are in Italy or New Zealand or anywhere else in the world. In Italy, either I carry a large purse or Tim carries a backpack. We have our wallets tucked away in a zipper compartment that would be very difficult to get to. We’ve not yet had any issues with pickpocketers but I hear it is a common occurrence in parts of Italy (and Europe). Pacsafe makes a line of backpacks and purses with zippers that can be locked and hidden compartments and highly recommend taking a look at what they carry. Using one of their bags can keep your things safe and give you peace of mind when you travel. Have a great time in Italy! Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Lisa Mail
    Lisa Mail

    Thank you for all of he great information. I’m planning a trip (about 10 days or so) for this August with my husband and two kids who are 16 and 18 . I’m afraid of the crowds but this is the time we want to go.
    We definitely want to spend time in the south. Does August and the fact that this is so last minute change your ideas at all for an itinerary or any other suggestions? Thank you! Lisa

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      August will be a busy time but it wouldn’t change the itinerary I have listed, just as long as you can get a hotel reservation (you still should be able to). You could add another day to spend more time on the coast. One thing we don’t have listed to do is the Path of the Gods, a beautiful hike along the coast. You could book your tours/drivers now, to make sure you have them reserved. And about 2 weeks before your trip, make restaurant reservations, if you plan to have a nice dinner in one of the towns. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Amanda

    Hi there!
    I am planning my trip to Italy at the end of the month, and worried about getting from my hotel from the train stations – are cabs the default method of travel? Are they expensive? I am debating whether to rent a car since I will be going from Naples to Pompeii to Sorrento and then to Postitano. Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, you can hire a taxi to take you from your hotel to the train station. Renting a car is not a bad idea this time of year. Crowds are low so you should not have the parking issues like you would during the insanely crowded summer months. Just check with your hotel in Positano to see if they offer parking (and if they don’t, where do they recommend you park?). You can also hire a driver to take you from Naples to Positano, if you don’t want to rent a car. I don’t know exact prices, but usually renting a car is cheaper than hiring a driver. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Raquel

    Hi, im so happy i found out this blog, make such a difference in planning a trip to italy. I wonder if you could help me figure out whether to visit Amalfi Coast or cinque Terre. We are planning to be 15 Days in italy for June with our 4 and 3 year old daughters. So which of them would be best and less difficult to visit with our kids. We are also planning to visit Florence and part of the Tuscany side (just the way you suggest in the blog) and then travel all the way to bologna and end up in verona.
    Thank you so much for all the info you proviene in tour blog!!!! Is so helpfull.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I love Verona…it’s so nice you are ending there. And so far, I’ve only driven through Bologna but I hear the food is amazing. As for the Cinque Terre vs Amalfi…personally, we liked the Cinque Terre a little bit more than the Amalfi Coast. Part of the reason is because we had such a terrible experience with the public bus system in Amalfi, but this can be easily avoided if you hire a driver, or get around by ferry. Pick the Amalfi Coast if you want to visit Pompeii, don’t mind hiring a driver to get around (because the buses can be a nightmare), and like the idea of the day trip to Capri. Our kids loved the Blue Grotto. Pick the 5Terre if you like the idea of staying in a colorful town and exploring the towns each day. You can get around by train but expect lines midday. Monterosso would be a good place to stay since there is a beach here. Just know that it sounds like it is getting quite crowded in the 5Terre. Someone just wrote in this week about how crowded the hiking trails and trains were recently. You can read Angela’s comment on the 5Terre hiking post. Both are great places to visit. If you will be traveling from Florence, the 5 Terre will be closer, so that might be a factor to consider. Hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Valerie Phan
    Valerie Phan


    Thank you for the detailed information! We are visiting the Almalfi Coast this summer and I have a question pertaining to Pompeii.
    We are flying into Naples airport and need to catch the Circumvesuviana going to Pompeii. Can you tell me how to get to the train station from Naples airport?
    The other question is should we purchase train tickets on site the day when we get there? I heard there issues with being ripped off with train tickets purchase…

    Thanks again!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Valerie. There is a shuttle bus that goes from the airport to the central train station. Click the link for more info. You can also take a taxi to get to the train station. As for the Circumvesuviana tickets, you buy them at the station right before you get on the train. From what I know, you can’t buy them in advance. Take a look at our article about getting around Sorrento/Naples/Pompeii for more info (and the price you should expect to pay). Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Alexia D.
  7. Avatar for Aurore Buriez
    Aurore Buriez

    Fantastic explanation. Thank you very much.
    I love your work.

    I just would like to add few details to whom would like to stay away from the crowd on the AMALFI Coast ( more nearest Amalfi)

    On the Amalfi Coast , just above Amalfi away from the crowd but still easy to reach by foot, there is the beautiful village of PONTONE, strangely still unknown on the guide book.

    It seems that time has stopped in that village and locals seem to be your neighbors as very friendly. I have stayed in a guesthouse called Lemon in the air.

    From Pontone, ( a village, part of SCALA) you have the best trekking paths to reach Amalfi or Ravello as the Valley delle Ferriere or Basilicata Saint Eustachio.

    Of course , as you said take comfortable shoes as on the Coast it’s free exercise and steps , lot of steps… every where.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  8. Avatar for Traci

    Hi, Your blog has been so helpful planning our trip to Italy thank you ! I was wondering, is there places to hire drivers when you are there or is it best to try and book them in advance. We are looking to have a driver from Pompeii to Sorrento after our tour at Pompeii and then a couple days later for our trip to the Amalfi Coast/Positano . We are staying in Sorrento. I saw that you suggested Sorrento Silver Star.

    Thank you,

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We did not use Sorrento Silverstar but they get good reviews online. We never used a driver while in Sorrento. It didn’t work for our budget at the time. But even so, knowing what I know now, I’d hire a private on our next visit to Sorrento. There are more options than Sorrento Silverstar. If you have a hotel picked out, you could email the hotel for suggestions. Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Monica och
    Monica och

    My brother and I will be traveling to Italy for 2 weeks in October this is our 1st trip and part of it will be to explore our family heritage in Cozensa. We will be flying into Rome than heading to Sorrento for 3 nights than into Cozensa for 3 nights than going back to Rome.Any suggestions on our trip back to Rome? We will be staying in Rome for 3 nights. We are in our sixties and cannot do a lot o f walking.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We have a two day Rome itinerary you can take a look at. It would be easy to break up the two days into three (you might want to do the Vatican in one day, the Colosseum and Roman Forum on the second day, and walk the heart of Rome on the third day) and it would space out the amount of walking that you will do. To get around Rome, we mostly used the metro, which can be crowded at times, but taxis work, too. Have fun exploring your family heritage…that sounds very interesting! Cheers, Julie

  10. Avatar for Kristie

    This was very helpful! We will be going to Italy in August and we only have 5 days up in the north before 5 days in Sicily. We will be in Rome, out first day and then the next night maybe Florence, and then 3 in Sorrento/ Amalfi coast. I can’t make up my mind. Any advice. Amalfi coast is my must.
    Thank you!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      If I understand your timeline correctly, it sounds like you’ll have about one day in Rome, travel to Florence and see Florence in one day, then travel back past Rome to Sorrento and spend 3 days here. In my opinion, I’d skip Florence, spend 2 days in Rome and then 3 days in Sorrento. Adding in Florence for such a quick trip really does not give you enough time here and takes you well north of Sorrento. However, that is just my opinion. Florence/Tuscany and northern Italy could make a nice future trip. Just a thought. Cheers, Julie

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