Glimpses of Christmas Past: Photos from Sorrento 2018

Joe and Patricia Gartman have spent the Christmas seasons from 2017 to 2019 in Italy. Here are photos from their time in Sorrento in 2018.

photo of Sorrento main shopping street with Christmas lights

Perched on top of sheer cliffs, high above the Bay of Naples, Sorrento provides an abundance of picturesque charm, history, views, cafés, summer sunshine and lemon-scented air.

It’s also the perfect base for travellers visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum, Capri and the Amalfi Coast.

You might not, therefore, think of it as a Christmas destination, but if you do happen to be there at this time of year, you’ll find that the Sorrentines love to dress their town in holiday finery.

Municipal christmas tree and lighted palms

The main attraction is the grand municipal tree, with musical dancing lights, on Piazza Tasso, the main square, but the tall palms all around town are also festooned with lights.

Workers club presepe in sorrento

A famous, incredibly detailed, Neapolitan-style presepe was displayed in the historic loggia of the Workers’ Club, the Sedile Dominova, as it is every Christmas season.

Disney character christmas lights

We found Piazza Sant’Antonino filled with illuminated Disney figures, and after sunset in Piazza Angelina Lauro, a small shopping district, luminous fairytale figures shone bright against the dark sky.

Fairy tale christmas lights

Main streets like Corso Italia, as well as narrow lanes like Largo Giuliani, all sported colourful and imaginative light displays.

Largo Giuliani christmas lights

Words by Joe Gartman, Photos by Patricia Gartman.

See more photos of Italy in our archive.