Piano di Sorrento, with its panoramic view of the Gulf of Naples and Vesuvius on the horizon, has been a popular destination for travellers for centuries.
Its history rich in culture and traditions has its roots in Roman antiquity, and has witnessed Arab and Norman influences. Today, it is an ideal holiday destination for those seeking natural beauty, culture and authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Piano di Sorrento is a pretty coastal town with cobbled streets, colourful buildings and a welcoming atmosphere. Located just a few kilometres from Sorrento, it offers a quiet base for exploring the Amalfi Coast and the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Piazza Cota is the heart of the city, surrounded by cafés and restaurants, while Corso Italia is the main shopping street.
The city boasts a number of historical buildings, including the elegant noble residence Villa Ciampa and the Basilica di San Michele Arcangelo with its 17th century frescoes.
Villas and palaces
There are numerous ancient palaces in Piano di Sorrento that, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, were built by the local noble families.
Villa De Stefano, situated on Via Francesco Ciampa, this majestic and elegant architectural gem experienced a period of semi-neglect. It has recently been restored and now serves as office of MSC. Villa Lauro, constructed in the late 18th century along the ancient provincial road, now the central Corso Italia, by Marittimo Antonino Lauro. It’s considered one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in Campania. Today, the villa is one of the two MSC locations in Piano di Sorrento.
Villa Fondi De Sangro, built in 1840 by Prince of Fondi Don Giovanni Andrea De Sangro, is adorned with elaborate stucco work, ceramic tiles, and frescoes. Inside, you can still admire a classically Vanvitellian-style staircase leading to the upper floors.
Castello Colonna was once an abbey and is located in the Colli di San Pietro area, on the western slopes of Mount Vico Alvano. Interestingly, the local dialect still refers to this hilly region as “n ‘coppa l’abbazia” (about the abbey) highlighting its historical connection to the abbey. The Abbey of San Pietro in Cermenna was of great significance in the 13th century. Despite being under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Sorrento, it held sway over the entire Vico Alvano and many adjacent lands.
Palazzo Maresca, built in 1844, this palace boasts an ornate facade adorned with arches and the date engraved on its portal. It includes a private chapel, a beautiful courtyard with a well, and various spaces for stables and barns. Villa Massa, located on Via Cavone, dating back to the late 18th century, it features a neoclassical-style facade and an attached private chapel.
Palazzo Mastellone, built in 1612 by Don Giuseppe Antonio Mastellone, it is located on Via Gottola and is also known as the Bishop’s Palace because its founder became the bishop of Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi and Bisaccia. Villa Ciampa, adjacent to the Church of San Michele, it features a spacious garden and a small private chapel. Palazzo Villa Romano, dating back to 1654, it was constructed by the nobleman Francesco Antonio Pollio and is located near the Church of Mortora. Villa Maresca Sopramare, built in the 18th century by the noble Maresca family of Serracapriola. Villa Enrichetta, situated in the heart of Via Legittimo, it was built between the late 16th and early 17th centuries and belonged to the family of Baron Sangiovanni.
Marina di Cassano
A small fishing village, down at the bottom of steep hairpin bends on the edge of the high Sorrento tuff cliff.
The village nestles beneath the towering tuffaceous cliff that extends from the panoramic terrace of Villa Fondi down to the beach. While the beach has been reduced in size over time due to marine erosion, it still retains the flavors of its maritime tradition.
It is the quintessential postcard of the Sorrento Coast, featuring an enchanting harbor, perspectives hinting at future port expansion, faded photographs of shipyards where sailboats and vessels for maritime trade were once constructed, and a landscape that seems to emerge from history, frozen in time.