The origins of Sorrento are not known clearly. According to the legend, it was founded by Liparus the son of Ausone, which was son of Odysseus and Circe, and the first exponent of the Italic descent of Ausoni. So Sorrento should have been initially an Italic city, as alsotold by the ancient historian Strabo. But the structure of the old centre of Sorrento and some archaeological remains make us think it was a Greek city or at least it was heavily influenced by the Greeks. This is confirmed also by the presence on Punta Campanella (the extreme point of the peninsula) by a temple dedicated to Athena. The old centre of Sorrento shows the usual Greek and Roman plan, with parallel streets around the main axes (decumanus and cardo maximus) of Via San Cesareo and Via Tasso, running straightly to the cardinal points. It partially keeps the original plan, nowadays occupied mainly by souvenir shops and tourist services, and partially has been cleared by the construction of the main road of Corso Italia, done at the end of the 19th century and which crosses Sorrento from point to point.


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