Photo of Sorrento cathedral

Visit Sorrento cathedral

Sorrento cathedral of Saints Philip and James is the most important religious monument in the town of Sorrento, on the coast of south-west Italy. It is situated on Corso Italia, the principal pedestrian street through the center of the old town.

Explore Sorrento cathedral

Italy This Way review: the cathedral in Sorrento has an attractive facade and has been decorated in the baroque style, and is a pleasure to visit

The original church in this location was built in the late 9th and early 10th century, on the site of an ancient Greek temple. The church was dedicated to Saints Philip and James after the relics of these saints were given to the church in 1210.

facade of Sorrento cathedral

The cathedral was enlarged several times over the following centuries. It had substantial damage following a Saracen raid in the 16th century, and was rebuilt around 1573.

The interior gained its current appearance, in the baroque style, in the 18th century. The facade, which appears to be one of the oldest parts of the church, was actually built in the neo-gothic style in 1924, after the original facade was damaged during a storm.

Although the facade of Sorrento cathedral is quite recent, you will want to pause to admire its design before entering the cathedral. It has a doorway with marble columns either side, but is otherwise quite a simple design, with a 'blind' rose window above the door, and rather elegant.

The church has a latin cross layout, with three naves, and the decoration of the nave is very typical of the baroque style, with almost every surface covered with paintings and marble inlay, including the square columns that separate the main nave from the lateral naves.

 
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There are several chapels in the cathedral, also decorated with paintings, and the altar is below a domed ceiling, painted more recently at the beginning of the 20th century. You will also see several statues as you explore the cathedral.

One item inside the cathedral deserves a special mention - the 3D recreation of life in ancient times, that represents the nativity in Bethlehem. Usually these models are of poor quality, but the installation in Sorrento cathedral is a very impressive artwork, with angels, characters and buildings all meticulously recreated in miniature.

The belltower of the cathedral is now separate from the main building, about 50 metres away. It has a roman style base, from around the 11th century, but is mostly a more recent construction with four levels, each square, and with neo-classical decoration, arches and a clock.

The third building that also forms part of this ensemble around the cathedral is the Archbishop's Palace, built next to the cathedral in the 16th century.

painting inside Sorrento cathedral

Attractions nearby

The cathedral is in the centre of Sorrento, on a long pedestrian street that you will want to explore, with smaller roads into the old town either side of the road. You can also visit the Sorrento basilica during your visit to the town.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Campania guide.

See also: 

Photos of Sorrento cathedral

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Map of Sorrento cathedral and places to visit

 
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Sorrento cathedral places to visit

Sorrento basilica

Sorrento basilica

The basilica of Sant'Antonino in Sorrento is a 11th century basilica with a baroque style nave and romanesque facade

Sorrento basilica guide
Sorrento

Sorrento

Sorrento is a popular resort and base for exploring the Amalfi coast

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Sorrento cloister San Francesco

Sorrento cloister San Francesco

The cloister of San Francesco in Sorrento is a charming cloister, built in the 14th century and now often used for weddings

Sorrento cloister San Francesco guide
Marina Grande and Sorrento beaches

Marina Grande and Sorrento beaches

The coast of Sorrento, with the port of Marina Grande and several small beaches is interesting to explore

Marina Grande and Sorrento beaches guide
Positano

Positano

Positano is a very scenic (and very steep!) village at the west of the Amalfi coast

Positano guide
Capri

Capri

Capri is a spectacular island in the Bay of Naples with beautiful cliffs and coastal scenery

Capri guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Campania

 
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