Sorrento Off Season

December 9, 2014 / Events
Sorrento, Campania

Traveling off season has many perks, among them unexpected meetings and discoveries such as those enjoyed in Sorrento a few weeks ago.

Thanks to a new lift connecting the beach and port levels to the upper part of Sorrento town, there is now easy access to the gardens in the center of town.

lift entrance on beach
sorr patrizia's palazzo
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Off season means fewer crowds and more time for meeting local people.

In a former private palazzo, now a luxury hotel, the owner graciously led us on an improvised tour. Then we watched artisans set up the Christmas presepe in a church courtyard and were offered limoncello confetti in one of the many shops along Via S. Cesareo.

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The last surprise of the morning was finding dozens of white hatted chefs marching through town.

sorr marching cooks

The day dedicated to San Francesco Caracciolo, patron saint of cooks, was being celebrated by the Campania region’s chefs with a meet up, procession and mass. The marching band of Massa Lubrense led the way as the group proceeded along Sorrento’s main street.

Young student cooks carried baskets with food offerings to the altar while the revered older chefs were given front row seats in the Duomo and the Bishop presided at mass.

sorr young cooks
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sorrento cooks
cooks sorrento
sorr cooks church
sorrento churchful of cooks
sorrento cook 1

Mary Jane Cryan

by Mary Jane Cryan

Mary Jane is a historian, cruise lecturer, author and publisher of books on Italian history and central Italy has been residing in Italy for half a century.

See her award winning website and weekly blog posts on 50YearsInItaly for more about central Italy and to order books directly from the author.

10 Responses to “Sorrento Off Season”

  1. Nina Sgriccia

    I have always admired Italy’s devotion to their patron saints. I smiled when seeing this story that even chef’s have one!

  2. Susan Caracciolo Keane

    As my maiden name is Caracciolo I was very excited to see this! I had only heard a murmuring once about St. Francesco Caracciolo, so I am pleased to know more about him…and very interestingly, I am a cook working for a rectory of priests :-)

  3. Loved this! My husband and his parents visited Sorrento in the dead of winter when he was 16. I often hear of the hotel they stayed in with no heat (they showed up without a reservation!), but the owner brought them awesome sandwiches and wine and they watched cartoons in Italian. so I started reading this note.

    What a surprise to see the cooks! My dad was a line cook his whole life and my brother is now a chef too. I love that there is a patron saint for cooks! Who knew, and how appropriate! Thanks for the note!

    • Mary Jane Cryan

      Madaline, yes, heating in off season is often an issue, especially if guests are not expected. Wine and good food in front of the fireplace make up for the lack. Glad you enjoyed the note.

  4. How nice, a patron saint for chef’s. Is this practiced in other parts of Italy?


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