That’s a great idea, @Someone! I was thinking about the same thing! I’m really glad you preceeded me! There are a lot of great places and luckily we come all from different places, and maybe travelled to many others, so this could be really an interesting topic.
Sorrento and nearby places
- Sorrento: Piazza Tasso is the main square. From there… go wherever you want and discovery, maybe go down to the old town and to Marina Grande. I ate at Emilia’s place (da Emilia) and it was really good. Fresh fish, only a few dishes but very good and with traditional tastes. Also the near coffee-bar makes a great espresso coffee. Try it and let me know what do you think of it.
There are some good ice-cream shops and pizzerie. The old town is plenty of nice places, churches, buildings and piazzas, the walls and the old gate from the sea.
- Vico Equense: another nice town on Sorrento Coast.
- Sant’Agata sui due Golfi: it’s the higher town on the tip of the peninsula. You can see both gulfs from here, expecially if you succeed in getting the key from the cloistered nuns of the monastery to enter the most panoramic place known as “il Deserto”…
- Amalfi, Positano, Majori and Ravello: wonderful places on the other side of the peninsula. The good thing is they are quite small, then you can have a tour on foot easily (if you don’t dislike to climb up and down). Con: traffic on the road to get there, both on buses or in private.
I personally love them and their ceramic pottery. In Amalfi Gemma is a good restaurant.
Neither I know all the places, so take these just as suggestions.
The whole area of the Peninsula of Sorrento (which divides the Gulf of Naples from the Gulf of Salerno) is quite rocky. Then there aren’t beaches long a mile, but wonderful little beaches and towns on rocks and sea. Personally I know some of the most secluded beaches which are little paradises but, it wouldn’t be that easy to get there. So I’ll suggest you also some of the easy going for their different features.
- Lidos on via Marina Grande - Sorrento. Perfect for sunbathing, they are accessible directly from streets of Sorrento on foot, but you can also easily have a dip. Not long beaches, though.
Going back up from Sorrento:
- Lido Marinella - Town of Meta di Sorrento. One of the longest beaches near Sorrento, quite soft sand, many services like beach umbrellas, a beach club, a restaurant… There are also many locals from all the province. But since we are in May, I don’t think there will be much ado.
- Marina di Aequa - Town of Vico Equense. Lovely town, lovely beach. Very calm, with wooden services, I like it.
Going down from Sorrento
- Baths of the Regina Giovanna - some nice places all around a rocky tip where there was the ancient Villa of Pollio Felice. The baths are great, but not for the below average swimmer. Yet part of the Marine protected area of Punta Campanella.
- Cala di Mitigliano - quite wild and secluded, you’ll need your foot or private carrier to get there.
Then the Peninsula ends, and you’ll begin to going back up on the other side, on the Gulf of Salerno. That part is the Amalfi coast. As beatiful as Sorrento coast, for sure.
- Jeranto bay - Deep in last part of the peninsula, this bay is very nice. You can get there by hiking, or by sea on a ship from Marina del Cantone (Nerano). I personally love the trail. You’ll see flora and fauna, the old Tower to protect coast from the Saracens, olive trees…
Then Amalfi, Positano, Majori and Minori, and Ravello. The first four are on the sea (with little beaches) while Ravello is high, and it’s a wonderful town.
Punta Campanella Diving Center: it seems quite good. Unfortunately, I never scuba dived in my life, so I can’t suggest you one in particular. There are many, though. The marine protected area is full of life, dolphins sometimes come here also.
Mount Vesuvius. There are eight trails, if I remember well, even if the last time I get there, you could only walk on the main and most important trail, the vulcanic cone. The others were under manteinance. I love to get there, the main trail takes only about one hour to be completed, but don’t forget that up there temperatures are lower even 7-8 Celsius degrees.
Lattari Mountains, the rocky spine of the Sorrentine peninsula, are plenty of intertwined trails. If you want to feel safer, then check some of the local tour operators.
The Jeranto Bay. One of the nearest from Sorrento, quite easy, and it ends on a beach. Nice. https://www.cartotrekking.com/en/sorrento-hiking-walks-marine-reserve-jeranto-bay/ (half a day)
See also above
The best inland trail is The Valley of the Ferriere.
You can start from Amalfi, or Pontone
check the site from CAI http://www.caimontilattari.it/en/sentiero/323a/
It is a wonderful trail, one of the best I did in my life. You can return to the starting point so it is quite easy to handle. (Half a day)
The path of Gods is a trail with wonderful vistas on the sea. Quite long, it will bring you from Bomerano (near Agerola) to Nocelle (near Positano). At the end of the trail you’ll be in Positano but it is a long trail and you’ll need to be fit or prepare to wait for public buses or take a private carrier. Not easy, but I guess there are some tours by local tour operators. (almost a full day)
Pompeii and Herculaneum
- Pompeii archeological site is huge. It’s still bigger than many small towns on earth. The most attractive thing is that you’ll get a feeling of being into a whole town, with almost everything you can expect. The forum, with the public buildings, the rich residential area, the more popular one, the villas, the shops, the markets, two teathers, the adults only areas, the productive sites… Maybe there are other sites with single buildings better preserved but… nothing will give you the idea of a town as a whole as Pompeii will. If you get lost, always check for Via dell’Abbondanza!
- Herculaneum is not as huge as Pompeii, also because the excavation campaign was not as vast as the other one. As Frenzie said, there are some buildings better preserved, and also the town is directly between the Vesuvius and the sea, and you can see the ancient harbour.
- Oplontis is a smaller archeological site, with one of the best preserved roman villas, where you will get some new perspectives on pompeian red…
As for Capri, unfortunately I don’t know the island very well, I’ve been there just one time many years ago. I know better the other two islands, in particular Ischia.
P. S. It has been a fatigue but I’m fine, I guess I’ll return there soon