The Roman name for Sorrento was Surrentum. Legends indicate a close connection between Lipara and Surrentum altought the imperial period remain Greek.
In antiquity, Sorrento was famous for its wine (oranges and lemons which are now widely cultivated there), its fish and its red Campanian vases.
Sorrento stands on high cliffs of tuff, which were formed from water erosion, giving them their present aspect. The arrangement of the modern streets preserves that of the ancient town, and the disposition of the walled paths which divide the plain to the east seems to date in like manner from Roman times.
The town overlooks the bay of Naples, as the key place of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and many viewpoints in the city allow sight of Naples itself (visible across the bay), Vesuvius and the island of Capri.
Today Sorrento is a modern city with over one hundred comfortable hotels; it is the home of a prestigious and rich Museum (Correale of Terranova), that contains important testimonies of both the history of the city and of the purest craft tradition of inlaid wood. Sorrento's landmarks can be visited in short walks from the main square (Piazza Tasso) and the main road Corso Italia that is the central thoroughfare.