San Francesco

The lovely Chiostro di San Francesco church cloisters in Sorrento

The 14th-century cloisters of San Francesco by the Villa Comunale public park now belong to an art school, and are a popular setting for weddings. Arrive early to beat the crowds and check out any exhbiits on offer.

The monastery was actually founded in the 8th cetnury, but it wasn't until the late 1300s that it got its lovely courtyard, complete with criss-cross pattern in the tufo-lined window archways on two walls (the other two have rounded arches on octagonal pilasters. The cloisters also make use of spoglia (recycled architectural "spoils," pilfered from ruined ancient buildings), such as the columns in the corners.

The attached church of San Francesco dates to the 16th century and has a lovely 17th century wooden St. Francis with the Crucified Christ on the first chapel on the right.

Tips & links

Chiostro di San Francesco
Piazza Francesco Saverio Gargiulo / Via San Francesco
tel. +39-081-878-1269
How long does Sorrento take?

Planning your time: Sorrento has maybe 2-3 hours of mediocre sightseeing. To be brutally honest it is probably the least interesting town in this area. It is only famous for its location.

Sorrento makes an ideal base for exploring Campania thanks to its location at the nexus of regional public transit—pretty much the only place from which you can get anywhere without having to change mode of transportation: Trains direct to Pompeii and Naples; ferries to Capri; buses or ferries down the Amalfi Coast.

If you prefer the home-base style of travel, Sorrento is the perfect base. Figure on three days/two nights here (hit Pompeii on the train ride down from Naples—you can store your luggage temporarily at the Pompei train station—then spend one day each visiting Capri and the Amalfi Coast).

If, however, you prefer to travel from town to town, just treat Sorrento as a way-station to switch from train to bus or ferry; skip Sorrento entirely and sleep in a more interesting locale on the Amalfi Coast or Capri.

» Sorrento itineraries

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Chiostro di San Francesco
Piazza Francesco Saverio Gargiulo / Via San Francesco
tel. +39-081-878-1269

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