The streets of Sorrento
Sorrento is everything you would expect an Italian town to be: narrow cobbled streets that open out onto quaint squares, with lemon and orange trees at every corner. And there is no better way to soak it up than on foot.
Wander down the lanes that sprawl from its main square, Piazza Tasso, and you'll find tucked away cafés and upmarket designer shops. For an unbeatable panorama, walk through the back streets to the medieval convent, Il Deserto - the entire region from Capri to Ischia can be seen from here.
Afterwards, head downtown to I Giardini di Cataldo, where you can stroll the old lemon grove before sampling some limoncello.
Cafe for refreshments...
Piazza Tasso is the hub of activity come day or night. It's filled with many pavement cafes, where you can order a pastry and a cappuccino, and engage in the national pastime of Italy - people-watching.
For real Italian elegance try the Fauno Bar, a firm favourite with the locals. It's more of a classic café than a bar, with a large outside terrace served by black-bibbed waiters. For something cosier, Café Latino on Via Pietà is set in a lovely garden under fragrant orange and lemon trees, with white canopied umbrellas. It is a great place to sit and relax with a cool drink in hand (try a Mary Pickford, a refreshing mix of light rum, grenadine, pineapple and maraschino).
Spot of culture...
Built in the eleventh century and then reconstructed in the fifteenth century in beautiful Romanesque style, the Sorrento Cathedral, located in heart of the Old City, makes for a fascinating visit. As well as admiring the grandeur of the building itself, you can see the intricate ceiling paintings by artists Oronzo Malinconico and Giacomo del Po.
For more works of art head to Museum Correale, which houses an art collection built up by the Correale brothers Alfredo and Pompeo, the counts of Terranova. Laid out over three floors, exhibits include 17th and 18th century Oriental chinaware and a collection of impressive paintings by foreign artists.
No trip to Sorrento is complete without a visit to Pompeii, left in ruins after being engulfed by ash in AD79 when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Join a guided tour of the highlights: the bakery, with its brick oven which looks identical to the ones in today's pizza parlours, and the family house where you can still see paintings of cupids on the bedroom wall.
The island of Capri makes for a great excursion too. Visit the Blue Grotto, a sea cave that the Romans used as a private bath - the iridescent quality of the blue light is enchanting.
For views, take the chair lift to the top of Monte Solaro. There's a bar at the top with deckchairs where you can sit back, relax and take in the breathtaking panorama.
Located off Piazza Sant' Antonio in the vaulted cellars of an old convent, II Buco is a small restaurant with buckets of ambience, where tables spill out onto the steps in summer. The food, mainly fish-based, is great too (it boasts one Michelin star) - the reasonably priced taster menu is always a favourite.
For traditional Sorrentine cuisine try La Lanterna, famed for its risotto alla pescatore (seafood risotto). It boasts the remains of a Roman house, with amazing mosaics preserved under glass downstairs.
* Nicola Iseard is a travel writer for the Observer.