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ORIGINS OF SORRENTO

About the origin of Sorrento the historian Diodoro Siculo, relating to a  legend,  asserted that the town was founded by Liparos, son of Ausone,  who was the king of the Ausoni and son of Ulysses and of the witch Circe.    According to this legend, the origin of the town dates back to an ancient  Italic population, that of the Ausoni, which accounted for one of the most  ancient ethnic groups.

However the town in pre-Roman age was subjected to a certain   influence on the part of the Greek culture, whose traces can be easily found in its urbanistic settlement, the remains of the Parsano Gate, Marina   Grande Gate, let alone the presence at the headland of the peninsula  called Punta Campanella, of the Athenaion. The big sanctuary, where the   worshipping of Athens was celebrated, according to the legend, it was founded by Ulysses and in a first moment consecrated to the worship of  the Sirens. All these elements could lead us to think of a Greek presence  in the period between 474 and 420 b.C., when Sorrento was conquered   by  the Samniti. Following this Sorrento entered under the Roman's sphere of   influence, against which it rebelled in the course of the social war when  after joining the 'nucerina alliance' it was reconquered, together with   Stabia, by Papius Multius in 90 b.C. and then the following year it was  reduced once again to a state of submission by Silla. After the peace  Silla sent a colony of veterans there.  

Eruption of the Vesuvius of 24th August 79 A.D.

On 24th August 79A.D. the town was seriously damaged by the   earthquake, caused by the eruption of the Vesuvius which destroyed  the towns surrounding the area such as Pompei, Herculaneum and   Stabia. 

Sorrento as a holiday resort

During the first half of the Imperial age it became a very popular seaside  resort among the wealthy patricians, who considered the entire Gulf of  Naples, from the Flegreian Plains to Sorrento, an ideal place to spend the summer months and the otium periods. Therefore several Villae Maritimae  were edificated in this area: magnificent lodgings, each with a landing place from the sea, spacious private residences, sometimes also farms where oil and wine were produced with the crops belonging to the dominus.

Horace

 The fame of Sorrento is also commemorated by Horace and Stazius, who in his work Silvae praised the beautiful sights and in particular the Villa of his friend Pollio Felice.

Sorrento in 420 A.D.

 Sorrento had an archiepiscopal site around 420 A.D., and after the fall of the  Roman Empire it was subjected to Byzantium. It was in vain besieged by the Longobard. It became a free Dukedom and had to defend itself from raids by  the Saracens; it struggled against Amalfi, one of the powerful Maritime  Republics, to claim its independance.

 Sorrento from 1133 to 1656

  In 1133 it was conquered by Ruggero the Norman and from that moment  its fate was tied up to that of the King of Naples. On the 13th June 1558 it was plundered by the pirates, who had been assisted in this by a slave, who   by the legend, betrayed his fellow citizens and opened the city gates to the  robbers. This episode persuaded the Sorrentines to fortify the walls    sorrounding the town and this work was completed in 1567. One of the  most critical times for Sorrento took place in 1648, when a riot broke out   against the Spaniards, headed by Giovanni Grillo. With the support of the inhabitants of Piano and Massa Lubrense, he tried to seize the government  of the town where the nobles were faithful to the Spanish power. The big  plague epidemic of 1656, shocked the population further on. But  notwithstanding these series of negative events, Sorrento continued to be an   outstanding centre among the province's towns.

Sorrento in 1799

  In 1799 it joined the Parthenopean Republic and was a theatre of fights  between the republicans and Bourbons. Back to the Kingdom of the two  Sicilies, under the Bourbon' s rule, it underwent remarkable changes during   the XIXth century both from an urbanistic and a political point of view: some  of the coastal boroughs were ruled by the counsel of the civic nobility, while others became self-governing. In the economic and social field an  increase was registered in agriculture, tourism and trade.  

  The Kingdom of Ferdinand II

Under the rule of Ferdinand II the road leading from Castelammare to  Sorrento was opened. In 1861 it was officially incorporated to the Kingdom of Italy, by means of a plebiscite, which established the annexion of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies to the Kingdom of Sardinia. Already in XVIIIth century Sorrento was rediscovered as a pleasant holiday resort when it         became the destination of a refined and intellectual tourism. Among its illustrious guests we recall above all Lord Byron, John Keats, Walter Scott  and Goethe. Finally it must not be forgotten that Sorrento was the country  home of Torquato Tasso (1544-1595), author of the Gerusalemme Liberata and regarded as one of the greatest poets of the XVIth century.

 

 

Giglio Hotels Sorrento

Since 34 years Giglio Hotels Group in Sorrento a great choice of accomodation which goes from the 3 stars hotel to the 5 stars hotel with original and exclusive proposals. Sorrento Hotels

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Typical products

Sorrento is also famous for his specialities, in particular for "limoncello" a traditional liquor made from lemons.  Take the recipe to make it by yourself... 

 

Typical dishes

Discovering the typical dishes of our land; click here to take the recipes...

 

Marquetry

Sorrento is famous in the world for his objects of marquetry; click here to discover the techniques and the ability of the great craftsmen of the past...

Historical Stamps of Sorrento

Sorrento Piazza Tasso

Piazza Tasso 1898

 
Panorama of Sorrento

Panoramic View 1905

 
A holiday in Sorrento lets you enter a world of colours...
 

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