Christmas in Sorrento: When the streets of the coast light up for a magical atmosphere.


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Have you ever thought of coming to the coast during the holiday season?

Sorrento may not be the first city you think of when it comes to Christmastime. The nativity scene market in Naples and the Christmas lights in Salerno are much better known. Right?

But in fact, Christmas is one of the most anticipated moments of the year in this small coastal town. The sea, which we are usually used to seeing in the summer, is transformed into a perfect background for the narrow streets and city squares filled with lights and Christmas decorations of all kinds. Walking through the streets of Sorrento will be an unforgettable experience, even if you are not headed to your favorite beach club but are donning scarves and coats.

For this year, the city of Sorrento will be organizing the "M'illumino d’inverno" initiative, now in its thirteenth year. A full calendar of celebratory events will take place between the end of November and the beginning of January for citizens and tourists.

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Shall we go for a walk in Piazza Tasso with Arianna?

We live here, it is true, but we never tire of visiting the beating heart of the land of the mermaids during Christmastime. For us, it is tradition, and here the traditions are revered and respected.

That's why, last week, we went for a walk through the streets of Sorrento center together with Arianna, aka aryg8, with whom we will live most of the experiences told by GTO Stories. Our esteemed content creator was born and raised on the Sorrento Peninsula and is privy to all the extraordinary places and events on the coast.

This year, Corso Italia, Sorrento’s main shopping street, lit up for the first time to the music of Lucio Dalla, a great lover of our land (how can you blame him?). Just read some of the lyrics to Caruso, one of his most beautiful songs:

"Here where the sea shines
And the wind blows strong
On an old terrace
In front of the Gulf of Sorrento"

This initiative was a dedication to one of the main streets of Sorrento to Dalla.
It is our way of honoring the passion, traditions, and love for the region and a small way to pay homage to Sorrento. The initiative was also an announcement for an event next year to celebrate the Bolognese singer, but we don't have spoilers. So, stay tuned!

We hope we have now caught your attention. But we haven’t yet arrived at the city's main attraction, trust me.

We continue...

We arrived in the Sorrento center from the parking lot of the Hotel Antiche Mura and walked along a beautiful tree-lined avenue. The atmosphere was already incredibly Christmassy with the illuminated tree branches that almost seemed to come to life between one shop and another.

If you have already been to Sorrento, you know very well that the city can be explored on foot without any problems. In just a few minutes' walk, we arrived at Piazza Tasso, and like every year, we were delighted by the spectacle that presented itself before our eyes—an overwhelming explosion of warm lights and bright colors.

Piazza Tasso has never been so beautiful. Trees decorated with Christmas balls, illuminated buildings and brilliant lights. Not to mention the Bell Tower. It is strikingly similar to Prague's Old Town Square and its Astronomical Clock!

This is the most strategic point of the city. On one side, the street leads to Piazza Veniero, the one with the Caruso lights…on the other, the road leads to Piazza Lauro.

Ah, Piazza Lauro. Indeed, it’s the favorite piazza of the city’s children who can't wait to get there and be enchanted by the luminous three-dimensional figures: reindeer, polar bears, igloos, penguins, snowmen, flocked trees, and stars placed in the flower beds on a bed of dazzling white micro-lights. The wow effect is guaranteed, even if you are older than seven years old!

But now it's time to tell you about the main attraction.

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Sorrento's Christmas tree, a triumph of golden lights in Piazza Tasso.

What would the holidays be without a Christmas tree?

Nothing rings truer. For this reason, Sorrento, seems to change faces during the Christmas holidays, letting go for a moment the leather sandals, summer wear and linen caftans. Piazza Tasso, the city’s main square, is transformed into a location that is the envy of most "Christmas" cities in Europe.

It is here, in fact, that one of the tallest Christmas trees in Italy is mounted, and a play of warm and shimmering lights comes alive at every hour to the rhythm of the music. It’s impossible not to immortalize it in an Instagram story!

And why not enjoy this show while drinking a refreshing glass of prosecco in one of the bars overlooking the square. For the customary Christmas toast this year, we chose the Fauno Bar, a historic bar in Sorrento that is also perfect for an informal lunch or dinner with friends sitting outdoors.

Apart from the aperitif, we are also devoted fans of the Christmas brunch here in Sorrento. For us, it is an opportunity to get together with lifelong friends to exchange greetings and gifts before the usual family lunches and dinners. And considering that here, on the coast, you can eat and drink to your heart’s desire, you will understand why any excuse is good to celebrate, especially at Christmas!

Well, our walk with Arianna ends here, among the lights, toasts, hugs, and best wishes. Here in Sorrento, the magic of Christmas can be felt in every corner of the city. All the streets, alleyways, and squares become a celebration of lights, music, and colors. It’s definitely an event to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Are you coming to visit us next year?