Sorrento is a small town in the Campania region of Southern Italy overlooking the Bay of Naples with a view of Mount Vesuvius and a present day population of 16,547 persons. An ancient town pre dating even the rule of the Roman Empire it has had many rulers, including a period as an autonomous duchy, before becoming annexed to the newly formed Kingdom of Italy in 1861. From that time on it grew in popularity as a tourist destination, a trend that continues today.
The historic Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, one of the grandest hotels in Italy, opened in Sorrento in 1834 on a site on which it is rumoured that Roman Emperor Augustus once had a villa. Down the years it has played host to many wealthy persons, Royalty and celebrities. In 1921 the famous tenor, Enrico Caruso, stayed there and the suite has been conserved as it was then, with the same décor, furnishings and the piano that he composed on. In later years it would boast guests such as Princess Margaret and Marilyn Monroe.