Richard Hollingsworth Dyne Knox, 27, of Parsons Green, West London, slipped and fell down the deep gully, which runs through the middle of the Italian holiday town, at around 3am on Monday morning.
Mr Knox, who is thought to have worked for a stockbroking firm, was reportedly drunk, having arrived in the resort, between Naples and the Amalfi Coast, earlier that day with three British friends.
His friends raised the alarm but it took firemen with specialist climbing equipment three hours to rescue him from the bottom of the ravine and take him to a hospital in Sorrento. Although he had sustained internal injuries from the fall, he was conscious and reported to be in a stable condition on Monday morning.
Doctors operated on him and removed his spleen but his condition quickly deteriorated. He fell into a coma and died a few hours later.
Speaking from the family home in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, his mother Shirley Knox said what happened was “a tragic accident” which had “devastated” her son’s travelling companions.
Police said Mr Knox had lost his balance while climbing onto a barrier that runs around the edge of the gully, known locally as the Valley of the Mills.
“We can confirm that a British citizen has died after an accident in Sorrento and we’re providing consular assistance to the family,” said a Foreign Office spokesman in London. Authorities in Sorrento opened an investigation into the accident.
The town, which commands views of the Bay of Naples, the island of Capri and Mt Vesuvius, has been popular with British tourists since the days of the Grand Tour.