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From Painting to Opera - Exploring Sorrento's Traditional Arts and Culture Scene

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Sorrento’s artistic heyday dates back to the 15th century, when artists and artisans drew inspiration for paintings, sculptures, and intarsia (wood inlay) decorative pieces from the area's stunning scenery. Today, you can explore museums filled with examples of these distinguishing forms of art, as well as take in traditional Neapolitan musical performances and operatic works.

Museums and galleries in Sorrento

 

Artisan heritage runs deep in Sorrento and its characteristic genre is intarsia, the process of inlaying different types of wood to create intricate, mosaic-like designs on furniture and small objects. You'll find examples of the craft throughout the city, in particular on the doors of the Duomo di Sorrento cathedral, as well as the Museo Correale di Terranova. If you want to take in some modern Italian art, you can drive 35 minutes to the enchanting village of Positano and visit the Franco Senesi gallery.

 

Museo Correale di Terranova

 

You'll find historic examples of intarsia furniture and Neapolitan oil paintings dating as far back as the 16th century, as well as a lush garden.

 

Via Correale 50, Sorrento 80065Tel: +39 81 878 1846

 

 

Franco Senesi Fine Art

 

Located in the heart of Positano, the Franco Senesi gallery specializes in modern sculptures and contemporary paintings by local artists.

 

Via dei Mulini 16, Positano 84017. Tel: +39 89 875 257

 

Franco Senesi Fine Art website

Learn history through music and a movie

 

You can take a step back in time at Teatro Tasso with the "Sorrento Musical Show," which regales audiences with classic Neapolitan dances and songs, such as "O Sole Mio." The historically accurate costumes and sets take you through 2 centuries of southern Italian life. “Sorrento History Movie” is a comprehensive documentary that highlights the area's culture and customs. The film is translated into multiple languages, including English.

 

Teatro Tasso

 

You can enjoy a lively evening of traditional Neapolitan entertainment, as well as opt for a dinner-show where you'll be serenaded by mandolin players.

 

Piazza Sant'Antonino, Sorrento 80067. Tel: +39 81 807 5525

 

Teatro Tasso website

 

Sorrento History Movie

 

During this 40-minute documentary, you'll be taken on a virtual tour of Sorrento's history, starting from its mythical Greek roots to modern day agriculture and gastronomy.

 

Corso Italia 210, Sorrento 80067. Sorrento History Movie website

 

Classical Opera

 

It should come as no surprise that operatic performances are a big draw in Sorrento. Although you won't see full productions on the scale of those in Milan, you can catch sopranos and tenors performing in the Museo Correale di Terranova, whose antiques-laden halls offer a visually stunning backdrop. Similarly, from July through October, you can catch the Sorrento Opera Festival in the cloister of the San Francesco Church. Performances include select pieces from famous operas like "La Traviata" and "Madame Butterfly."

 

The Great Opera in Sorrento

 

From April through October, the Opera e Lirica event company organizes The Great Opera in Sorrento, which features performances of classic operatic arias as well as traditional Neapolitan songs.

 

Via Correale 50, Sorrento 80067.

 

The Great Opera in Sorrento website

 

Sorrento Opera Festival

 

Vocal and instrumental performances take place in the verdant open-air cloister of the baroque San Francesco church.

 

Piazza Gargiulo 8, Sorrento 80067. Tel: + 39 329 371 1312