If you’re eager to explore Italy’s exquisite Amalfi Coast and would love a small, scenic base, consider the resort town of Ravello, where you can be pampered just like the celebrities who have stayed here over the centuries. Ravello sits high in the mountains that are just off the sea and its strategic — and lovely — location means it has served as both a defense against barbarians and a refuge for artists, writers and musicians.
Ravello looks down on the Bay of Salerno, and nearly every place you’ll visit and dine in takes advantage of the alluring views to further captivate you. Whether you choose to just walk around town, take a cooking class at the well-reviewed Mamma Agata’s or spend time listening to a concert, Ravello will charm you.
Planning Your Trip
Ravello makes a great place to stay in the Amalfi Coast area because its temperatures are generally more moderate than that of the cities along the water. Even in August, it rarely gets above the mid-80s.
While tourism is higher in the summer months, you might consider a trip that includes the famous Ravello Festival in August. Started in the 1950s to honor Richard Wagner, who frequented the city, the Festival now includes a variety of music, including jazz.
Because of its location in the mountains, getting to Ravello isn’t as simple as some of the other Amalfi cities. Hiring a private car — with or without a driver — is your best bet for navigating the twisting roads into town. Once you’re in town, you’ll likely be best served walking where you need to go.
Places to Visit
The Rufolo family built this villa in the late 1300s and it survives today as one of Ravello’s most beautiful spots to see. The towers on the villa reflect some Moorish architectural influence and the cliff-side terrace looks down on the sea. Richard Wagner stayed here while composing his opera “Pasifal,” and the community honors him with an annual music and arts festival.
Walk past the Villa Rufolo to get to the second of Ravello’s famed gardens, the British-influenced Villa Cimbrone. The views are amazing and you’ll get to walk in the steps of many of England’s famed Bloomsbury writers and artists like Virginia Woolf, who stayed here often in the 1920s. Set aside plenty of time to explore the statues, arches and other flourishes that encompass a range of styles. A small cafe on the grounds offers drinks and snacks that you can enjoy along with the stunning views.
Duomo di Ravello
Ravello’s cathedral is a bit more plain than some of Italy’s large house of worship, but it has its own charm and art worth seeing. Complex mosaics, including those on the 13th century pulpit, are a highlight. A small adjoining museum houses additional works of art.
Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium
Look for this modern architectural jewel sitting atop the cliff, designed by renowned Oscar Niemeyer just a year before his death. It serves as a concert hall and art gallery as well as a site for fantastic views of the sea.
Ravello can be a magnificent place to start your trip to the Amalfi Coast or a nice center for exploring the sea. We can help you find the best places to stay and answer your questions about sightseeing and events in this lovely town. Contact us to begin planning your custom Mediterranean experience!