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Torquato Tasso

Torquato Tasso is considered the most famous son of Sorrento.
He was born on 11 March 1544 in Sorrento.
His father Bernardo, a man of letters and courtier born in Venice, married Porzia de 'Rossi, a Neapolitan noblewoman of Tuscan origins and Torquato was their third child.
His life can be divided into two periods: the one that goes from birth until 1575 and the one from 1575 onwards.
At the age of eight he had to witness the exile of his loyal father to the Prince of Salerno Ferdinando Sanseverino, the political persecutions and the expulsion of his mother whom he will never see again.
He went through his studies between Naples and Rome and then followed his father with whom he had the opportunity to meet renamed writers; this was his happiest period in which he composed the opera "Gerusalemme Liberata".
In the second half of 1574 he was struck by a violent fever and from 1575 he carried out a series of actions that made him mad in the eyes of outsiders; he thus wandered from court to court, from city to city, returning in 1577, dressed as a shepherd in Sorrento to the house of his sister Cornelia.
On 1 April he entered the monastery of S. Onofrio.
On April 25, at the eleventh hour, Torquato Tasso died at the age of 51.

At the monastery, next to the road, the ramp of the oak is still visible, where the black trunk of a centuries-old oak is supported by a metal support. According to local tradition it is the so-called oak of the rate, the tree in whose shadow the poet often sat to rest.
Tradition has handed down to us the figure of a Badger, a valiant knight and great poet: <With the pen and the sword - Nobody is as good as Torquato> was said.


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