A goal of mine while I am living here in Sorrento is to visit as many of the local museums and galleries as possible.
I was able to check another one off of my list this past week by going to the Sorrento Experience Museum
It is located right in the historic center of the city, behind the Cathedral.
This museum was unlike any other I’ve ever been to and it taught me so much about Sorrento that made me fall even more in love with it.
It exists because of its great creator Antonio Pane.
He brings Sorrento to life and displays its history in different ways through installations, art pieces, music, and the whole immersive experience.
An Introduction to Sorrento
Before you step foot into the main room, you have a chance to look around at different statues, informative boards, artworks and more.
A few examples were the history of Sorrento, the origins of its name, Sorrento overtime and how it changed;
Famous people who stayed in Sorrento or had major impact on it, and more.
However, a major portion of the information was about different legends that have to do with Sorrento or that originated here.
My favorite legend to learn about is the Sorrento Sirens, and when I saw the tidbits about it in this front room I was so excited.
I was even more intrigued to stop by one of the installations dedicated to all information about the sirens and their story.
In addition, there were also some legends that I’ve never heard of before, like the legend of Sant’Antonino (patron Saint of Sorrento) and the tusk.
Another fascinating one is about the bell at the bottom of the sea, down Punta Campanella, in Massa Lubrense.
It is said, in fact, that the seabed holds the Bell of the Basilica of Sant’Antonino, first stolen and then thrown into the sea by the Saracens.
These were the protagonists of a devastating raid that brought destruction, fear and death to Sorrento in 1558.
A Closer Look at the Magic of Sorrento
My favorite part about the entire museum was the mini version of Sorrento and the historic center.
It was a miniature replica of the city and as soon as I saw it I couldn’t contain my excitement.
You are able to walk around the entire thing and view the insides of the tiny windows, the people walking the streets, the animals lining the grass, and more.
It was so fun to be able to look at the areas and then look at the photos provided of what that street looks like today and compare where I’ve been.
Mount Vesuvius Wonder
It was hard to choose my second favorite part of the museum because it all captured Sorrento in a lovely and unique way.
I think I will have to say my second favorite part was the room that allowed us to relive the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
I don’t want to give too much away to readers who want to plan a visit, but it seemed to be super realistic and believable.
It really transports you to the place in a way I’ve never experienced before.
Learning the History in a New Way
Throughout the rest of the guided walkthrough of the museum, we saw and learned a lot.
Torquato Tasso paid us a visit through a painted version of him on video.
We got to see lots of photography, a few musical instruments, we got to hear famous music and singers that are important to Sorrento, see the original boat from Scandal in Sorrento, and more.
I haven’t had this much fun at a museum in a long time, and I feel like I really learned a lot this way because I was intrigued in a different way.
Once again, I recommend this museum to anyone wanting a closer look at Sorrento, or those who are curious about the history of it all.
Sorrento Experience encapsulated it in a way I haven’t seen before!