I’d go back for the breakfast spread ngl

On a recent visit to Sorrento, I was invited to stay at the recently renovated Ara Maris 5-star ecoluxe hotel for their grand (re)opening. If you’re a hotel snob, you’ll appreciate traditional Mediterranean blue ceramic details juxtaposed with eclectic modern 70s furnishings and solar energy paneling, plus some spa amenity bells and whistles. (more sneak peaks inside on this Instagram post)

solar powered!

the poolside lounge at Ara Maris

Ara Maris was a super relaxing base for exploring the town of Sorrento plus getting out in the countryside to discover various gems around the Sorrentine peninsula like Massa Lubrense.  One of the perks is that they are just a few minutes walk from the main crowded center and down the street from a lemon garden and distillery serving some top notch lemon sorbetti and limoncello.

Even if you can’t swing a stay at this modern retreat, Ara’s rooftop lounge (Lumi Sky lounge) pours decent sommelier curated wines and craft cocktails to pair with jaw dropping sunsets over the Bay of Naples with Mt. Vesuvius in plain view

from the rooftop terrace overlooking the Bay of Naples at Ara Maris
ciao Mt. Vesuvius, grazie for your soil making delicious wines

Also during said stay, the owners organized a scenic hike though the protected coastal trails of Baia di Ieranto bay (thanks to FAI, Italy’s Environmental Fund) hugged by rugged cliffs, hidden coves, ancient ruins and crystal-clear waters twinkling below the path.

Nature lovers and adventurers (or those like me who will hike for pasta) rejoice. What makes Baia di Ieranto truly special is its unspoiled charm and secluded ambiance, far removed from the bustling beaten coastal hiking paths like in Cinque Terre. This poetic corner of Sorrento’s countryside belongs to Punta Campanella Marine Reserve and we got to meet guides with FAI who are passionate about this haven’s careful preservation.

After a morning of hiking, we rolled up to an agriturismo stretching out mozzarella from the milk of their own buffalo followed by a farmhouse lunch and limoncello to wash it all down.

Bellies full of mozzarella and wine, we headed back to Sorrento to kick back and enjoy a sunset aperitif at the hotel’s terrace bar overlooking the bay of Naples.

If you plan to stay in Sorrento for more than a couple nights, I suggest to wake up early for a daytrip to Capri. Face your fear of heights and take a funicular through Anacapri, sign up for a cooking class and head back to Sorrento to rinse repeat the sunset aperitivo cycle.

You could stay a week and use Sorrento as a base to ferry between spots like Positano and Praiano. But then I would move over to Salerno as another base (with lots of great pizzerie) to explore the latter side of the Amalfi (and then some of the Cilento, be sure Danielle Oteri is on your radar who is an incredible expert of the area).

Curious for more of Italy? Subscribe to my newsletter and/or book a 1 on 1 personalized travel consult with yours truly for help mapping out your food-filled Italy vacation. While Florence and around Tuscany are my main areas of expertise, I travel often around Italy (19 years and counting) and would love to share what I learn along the way with you to help optimize your time here. I also have expert friends to introduce you to around the boot.

Landed on this post for Sorrento and just want some restaurant, limoncello and mozzarella recommendations? In lieu of a paywall- treat me to a coffee on VenMo and I’ll send you a  Google Map link with my compiled picks for restaurants in Sorrento, as well as some mozzarella in Sorrento’s Massa Lubrense in the Lattari mountain countryside, limoncello makers and some Capri tips peppered in.

In your Italy travel trust,

Curious Appetite

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