Tucked away behind the bedlam of Piazza Tasso, the Chiesa di San Francesco is easily one of the most beautiful churches in Sorrento and is a wonderfully calm and serene space in which to take time out from a busy itinerary.
There is much more to this church than initially meets the eye and architects, historians and casual visitors alike will enjoy tracing the history of the building through its exterior architecture and interior design.
Consisting of an eclectic mix of styles that span the centuries, this beautiful building was originally founded in the early part of the 8th century by Saint Antoninus, Sorrento’s patron saint. For centuries it was used as a private oratory until Franciscan monks made it their home in the 14th century.
Renovated in 1926, the simplicity of the pale stucco façade is deceptive and belies the wealth of cultural treasures within. As you push open the 16th-century wooden door, take a moment to allow the peace and serenity of this holy space to wash over you.
Inside, ecclesiastical riches abound. Wander around at your leisure examining the intricate paintings that adorn the walls of the side chapels. Pause to admire the craftsmanship behind the beautiful frescoes and pay particular attention to the carved wooden statues of Christ and St Francis.
Take a moment to marvel at the Baroque design of the nave’s vaulted ceiling before paying your respects to the Virgin Mother who sits serenely at the top of the church.
With an eclectic mix of architectural styles including Gothic, Renaissance and Arabic, the adjacent medieval cloister is a joy to wander through. Take time out to sit on one of the benches and marvel at the pretty vines that wrap tightly around the 14th-century octagonal pillars.
Lucky visitors may stumble upon classical concerts here in the evenings and free art exhibitions are held here during the summer months so it’s worth keeping an eye on the church notice board and the local tourist office for details.
This is a tranquil space in which to escape the hot Italian sun and indulge in some quiet contemplation, and really should be on every Sorrento to-do list.
Palazzo Marziale: Business-friendly townhouse with free breakfast and free WiFi. Located in the historical district.
16 Nov. - 17 Nov.
Grand Hotel La Favorita: Luxury hotel with free WiFi and outdoor pool. Guests give the walkability a thumbs up.
Grand Hotel La FavoritaAU$296
16 Nov. - 17 Nov.
Continental: Family hotel with free breakfast and free WiFi. Located in the entertainment district.
Bellevue Syrene: Luxury hotel with free breakfast and free WiFi. Located near the boardwalk.
Bellevue SyreneGet Rates
Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria: Luxury hotel with free breakfast and free WiFi. Located near a ski shuttle.
Grand Hotel Excelsior VittoriaAU$614
22 Nov. - 23 Nov.
Hotel Regina Sorrento: Family hotel with free WiFi and an outdoor pool. Located in the entertainment district.
Hotel Regina SorrentoAU$136
28 Nov. - 29 Nov.
Hotel Plaza: Luxury hotel with free breakfast and free WiFi. Located in the city centre.
21 Nov. - 22 Nov.
Hotel Antiche Mura: Family hotel with free breakfast and free WiFi. Guests give the walkability a thumbs up.
Hotel Antiche MuraAU$141
15 Dec. - 16 Dec.