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Why Sorrento for Spring?

Because for all the pizza and limoncello clichés, this handsome seaside town, on the rocky peninsula that forms the southern reach of the Bay of Naples, has la dolce vita spirit down pat. And because, if you’re lucky with the weather, even this early in the year there are days that feel like high summer. By April spring is well and truly under way.

Dominating its own little bay-within-the-bay, Sorrento‘s seaside vocation is given historical depth by its wealth of Renaissance palazzi and Romanesque churches. It’s a perfect hopping-off point for the even more vertical charms of the Amalfi Coast on the southern side of the peninsula, and for the elegant resort island of Capri, which is just a 20-minute ferry ride away.
Spend the morning … Wandering around Sorrento‘s Renaissance and Baroque centro storico, which makes up in southern charm what it lacks in stand-out sights. And although few of the package visitors that throng the town ever discover them, there are a few worthwhile cultural draws – such as the Museobottega della Tarisalignea, dedicated to the history of Sorrento’s marquetry work, or the lovely 14th-century cloister of the church of San Francesco.

Spend the afternoon …



Exploring the Amalfi Coast, the vertical paradise of perched villages and rugged nature on the southern side of the Sorrentine peninsula.
Positano, the first of the Amalfi towns, is a Mediterranean marvel with its steeply-tiered pastel houses and dolce vita bars and boutiques; Amalfi, beyond, has a more medieval feel, and its Arab-Norman cathedral bears eloquent witness to the town’s high-water mark between the ninth and 12th centuries, when it was a powerful maritime republic.

Spend the next day…



Being alternative. There’s no denying that Pompeii, 17 miles from Sorrento is an amazing sight – an entire Roman town preserved in suspended animation as it was on the day in AD 79 when Vesuvius erupted and buried the place in volcanic ash. But Italy’s most visited archaeological site is always crowded.

Head instead for the other great Vesuvian site, Herculaneum, Ercolano which has had a facelift and now offers a far more pleasant visitor experience. And with its wide suspended walkways, it’s the only one worth considering for visitors with mobility difficulties.

Go shopping for…

Something other than limoncello. Inlaid intarsia furniture, or marquetry, is an ancient Sorrentine craft.

For local produce, head for the downtown outlet of organic farm Fattoria Terranova. Here you can buy homemade jams, savoury preserves, cheeses, olive oil and – yes, even limoncello – safe in the knowledge that they’re genuine and local.

by Sorrento lingue,Italian language & Culture courses

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Learn Italian in Sorrento and visit Amalfi Coast

Getting to Amalfi Coast

Limoncello, the original recipe

Autunno Sorrentino

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After the successful study trips to Venice and Puglia with Giuseppe Amoroso, the next study trip for our students will be on the romantic Amalfi Coast and Sorrento.

Our next trip includes:

Excursion to Pompeii ruins with expert guide

Excursion to Amalfi, Positano, Ravello (half day) and dinner in Positano

Excursion to Capri (on request)

Guided Tour of Sorrento and visit to a Limoncello factory with tasting
and of course:


  • Morning ITALIAN Language Courses (from Monday to Friday. From 9:00 to 12:40); *first day at 8.30 for Oral test to verify the exact level of students.
  • Teaching Material for the Italian course and Certificate at the end of the course.
  • Group transfer by private bus from Naples Airport to Sorrento return.


ACCOMMODATION  OPTIONS (all in the Centre of Sorrento)

  • Accommodation in a family home – Single room B&B
  • Single room in Shared Apartment
  • 3 star Hotel
  • 4 star Hotel

Dates:   APRIL 12th – 19th, 2015

Suggested flights (British airways) :

  • April 12th – from Gatwick to Naples at 15.00   arrives  at 18.40
  • April 19th – from Naples to Gatwick at 19.25   arrives  at 21.10

N.B.:      Flights to/from Naples Capodichino Airport:   NOT INCLUDED

bookings by  January 15th, 2015




Read more:

Getting to Amalfi Coast

Limoncello, the original recipe

Autunno Sorrentino

Study Italian in Italy


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Italy’s Amalfi Coast is well known for its dramatic cliff-side views above the Mediterranean but also for places like Sorrento. It is a small town across the bay from Naples, with Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii in between. The town is perhaps most famous for its production of limoncello, the sweet digestivo liqueur made from Sorrento lemons (which are as big as grapefruits).

During summer the town is perfect for strolling, getting a pizza, eating gelato, people watching, having espresso, and buying more limoncello. Of course, the beaches are also among the main attractions of the town. Sorrento is a great place for pedestrians: after 6 or 7 pm, the streets even close completely to cars, creating a peaceful, festive atmosphere.

You can spend your evenings drinking wine and strolling the quiet grounds through groves of olive and lemon trees, sometimes hearing the faint strum of a guitar or a mandolino (an instrument which originated in Naples), one night overhearing an open-air aria from a nearby amphitheater.

From the main Naples train station, Sorrento is easily accessible on the Circumvesuviana line, which runs around the Bay of Napoli. This line also provides direct access to Pompeii, where you can take a day trip during your Sorrento stay: the ancient, lava-buried city is an incredible site for the archeologists in all of us. Your imaginations will soar while contrasting the floor plans between noble homes and peasant neighborhoods, exploring the pizza ovens, jail cells, theaters and vineyards. There are even free bicycles for visitors to ride around the outer ring of the grounds, Vesuvius looming quietly less than 8 miles to the North.
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Other activities in the region include hiking along the Amalfi coast, high above the Mediterranean; riding the ferry to the alluring islands of Capri or Ischia; taking the train into the center of Naples to experience the “chaos” of Southern Italy’s most notoriously town.

by Sant’Anna Institute-Sorrento Lingue

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Limoncello: the original recipe

Learn Italian in Italy:special offers

And dreaming of your next trip to Italy,enjoy a great song…

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The history of the original recipe of limoncello bends through a series of anecdotes and legends. Its paternity is competed by Sorrentini, Amalfitani and Capresi. In small plots of kilometres, three populations boast of a production of limoncello passed on by various generations. In Capri, someone says that its origins are linked to  the family of the businessman Massimo Canale who, in 1988, registered the first trademark “Limoncello”.The liquor was born at the beginning of 1900, in a small boarding house of the island Azzurra, where the lady Maria Farace took care of a rigorous garden of lemons and oranges. The nephew, during the post-war period, opened a bar near Alex Munte’s villa. The speciality of that bar was the lemon liquor made with nonna’s old recipe.But really, Sorrento and Amalfi have some legends and stories on the production of the traditional yellow liquor.Big families of Sorrento, at the beginning of 1900, would always ensure that their illustrious guests would get a taste of limoncello, made according to the traditional recipe.However, as it frequently happens in these circumstances, the truth is vague and the hypothesis are many and interesting.Someone believes that limoncello was used in the morning by fishermen and countrymen to fight the cold, since the invasion periods. Others, instead, believe that the recipe was born inside a monastic convent to delight the monks from prayer to prayer. Maybe, we’ll never know the truth. The original lemon of Sorrento has to be produced in one of the town council of the territory that goes from Vico Equense to Massa Lubrense and the island of Capri.limoncello

The cultivation system is the typical and traditionally adopted in the area. The most used technique consists in cultivating the plants under a structure made out of chestnut poles higher than three metres. To ensure the ripeness of the fruits, the trunk is protected from the atmospheric conditions. The harvest is usually carried out during the period from February to October: it’s hand done, because the direct contact of the lemons with the ground has to be prevented.

Special offers for your Italian course in Sorrento

The main characteristics of the product go searched in the elliptic and symmetrical shape, in the medium-large dimensions, the colour of the yellow peel citron. In the choice of the lemons, those with much thicker peel are preferred. Just the Mediterranean climate of the Sorrento – Amalfi coast guarantees the increase of a lemon with large and perfumed peel.

limoncello2The first step of the recipe of limoncello previews the washing of the fruit in warm water and the brush in order to clean it from eventual residual of insecticides. Alcohol is poured in a water jug, and are then added pieces of aromatic rind gained from the peel.

The experts advise the use of good quality alcohol, also to avoid that the liqueur is transformed in ice in the freezer. With the arrangement of the water jug covered in a dark room or in a sideboard, the first phase of production is concluded. At environment temperature, in fact, the maceration of the peel will continue and the instilled will slowly assume the aroma and the yellow of the lemon.
After approximately a month of rest, the preparation continues with the adding of a small pot of water and sugar (boiled and then left to cool down) and other alcohol. The water jug goes then newly covered and put away in the cabinet for an other abundant month.
After forty days approximately, the instilled goes filtered in the bottles, discarding the peels. Then the bottles go in the freezer. From the unique taste and the aroma form, the liqueur goes therefore served, without the additives and colouring agents.

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Limoncello is an excellent digestive if served cold. Someone prefers it to environment temperature, even stirred in tonic water or champagne. Lately, it is in vogue its utilisation on gelatos and fruit salad. In Sorrento, in the earth prince of its production, limoncello concludes above all lunch or supper: at this point it has become a social ritual nearly at the same height coffee.

by Sant’Anna Institute-Sorrento Lingue

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Learn Italian in Sorrento:special offers

Roman ruins in Sorrento

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