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There are many layers to Sorrento, and under each are even more. The historic center of Sorrento dates back to its Greek origins, and this includes many sections of the old city walls. The Roman city was built over the Greek one, respecting the urban plan laid out by the Greeks, embracing the location of the walls. During the Roman era the city was even completely surround by the walls, which offered five main entrances. Invasions by the Saracens in the centuries that followed had a devastating effect on the outlying areas, but the walls protected the city center. Today much of the wall remains, and offers an imposing reminder of the history of Sorrento.
Within the walls are numerous buildings that capture the various eras of Sorrento, including monuments and churches. The historic center features numerous examples the influence of Greek-Roman design. Today this can be seen on several streets including via Pietà, via S. Cesareo, via Padre Reginaldo Giuliani and via Tasso.From the ancient to the medieval, head to De Majo Street to see the Basilica of Saint Antonino, which was erected in the 11 th century in the location of an ancient oratory, and now houses the mortal remains of the saint, who had found refuge in Sorrento during the Lombard invasion. The Church is actually lavishly adorned with column shafts “saved” from Roman country homes, and Corinthian capitals.