The history of Sorrento is spectacular with a number of occupations and invasions. All these invaders had left their marks on the place and its culture. So the culture of Sorrento is unique because of the fact that it is the combination of a plethora of cultures. It is an incredible fusion of fact and fiction. The mythology says the peninsula was bestowed by the sirens upon Ulysses and his son. The only Siren temple in the world is said to have situated in the Sorrento Peninsula.
On a more serious note, the available historical evidence shows that the earliest human occupation was Greek which gave way to the Roman invasion later. The Roman Empire declined in the 6th Century A.D and the city of Sorrento was claimed by the Byzantine Empire. Thereafter, Sorrento was occupied by number of civilizations. The Lombards, Normans, Aragons and Italians were some of the major influences.
The result is that each of these cultures rubbed off some of its color, art and architecture on this wonderful city. All the relics of the past are preserved by the people of Sorrento loyally and with utmost care.
As a result a visitor can actually feel the old world when he wanders among the monuments and visits the fabulous antique churches and towers. The Greek and Roman influence can be discerned in the uniquely paved roads. The large Roman buildings with their ornate fish ponds and nymph figurines betray the opulence and artistic temperament of a bygone era.
The influence of the Etruscan culture is seen everywhere – from the structural designs of the buildings to the smallest decorations that adorned the churches and towers. The remains of temples and other structures from the ancient past are the other evidences of this far-off Sorrento culture. The remnants of the temple of Goddess Athena are the most important among them. It is on the promontory of Campanella.
Most of the antique articles and diverse cultural evidences are preserved in the Correale Museum. The artifacts belonging to the splendid past of Sorrento are exhibited in the museum.
Apart from the marks the ancient people have left in Sorrento, the fragrance of the Sorrento culture also emanate from the works of the poets, musicians and other artists who had visited the peninsula at various times. The poets like Keats and Byron had been greatly inspired by the Sorrento culture. Charles Dickens Scott and Goethe were some other literary figures who derived inspiration from this wonderful blend of ancient cultures.
From the beginning of the 19th century tourism began to flourish in Sorrento. Many of the rich people from different parts of the European continent began to visit the place to escape from adverse weather and in search of tranquility. The weather and the scenic beauty of the peninsula served as great attraction to the visitors.
Now Sorrento has moved with the time and its culture has imbibed the influence of the modern world and merged its old world charm with modernity to make it up-to-date. The fascinating night life of Sorrento is evidence to this. At present it has acquired the status of an iconic tourist destination of Italy. The visitors are sure to be captivated by the sense of mystery, the intriguing legends and rich tradition of Sorrento.
Sorrento Music Boxes - handcrafted gifts from Italian masters.
by Marina Chernyak
H: 2.5" W: 4.25" L: 4.75"
H: 3.50" W: 5.75" L: 4.75"