Sorrento lies about 50 kilometers from Napoli, to which it is connected by the Circumvesuviana railway line skirting the volcanic mount Vesuvius. This is also the best way to reach it, since the town is ensconced in a series of gorges, and on a 50-meters high plateau overlooking the sea. In fact, Sorrento does have a port from which ferries and hydrofoils depart for the isles of Capri and Ischia, but is best thought as a hillside place.
This unusual relation to the surrounding territory also means that it is home to several rather land-based specialities, chief among them the famous limoncello liquor made from alcohol and the rinds of the especially juicy lemons cultivated there. Other typical Sorrento foods are the local olive oil, the Gragnano pasta and several unusual charcuteries mixing pork and orange rind. Sorrento is also justly famous for its many fresh cheeses and dairy products, among which of course mozzarella made with water buffalo milk.
Naturally there are ways to make it easier to catch that magic. One is to take some time to explore the ancient ruins dotting the surroundings, maybe going as far as legendary Pompei (with one ‘I’, no matter what you are used to see it written abroad). Another is to indulge in one of the many local nostalgic shows that try to save the spirit of the variety shows of old: they are tourist traps, make no mistake, yet they do offer a great selection of classic songs from the tradition of Napoli to transport you back to when Sorrento really was the crown jewel of the Mediterranean.