Ravello: an insider’s guide

23 March 2023
Written by The Italy Insider
Insider's Guide


If you’ve never visited Ravello, it’s time to book your trip. Perched upon a hilltop, Ravello is like a large terrace overlooking the widest spectacle of the Amalfi Coast. Its beauty was an inspiration for many artists, writers and musicians, such as composer Richard Wagner in 1880 who arrived on the back of a Mule to complete his Parsifal. In the village there is a lot to visit. The gothic Cathedral, the garden of Villa Cimbrone, which ends on the Infinity Terrace overlooking the sea, and those of Villa Rufolo with the Belvedere suspended over the sea. We do not recommend going by car. There aren’t many car parks but the ones at the entrance of the pedestrian village are generally reserved during summer. Instead, take a taxi or a SITA bus that leaves from Amalfi and takes about 20 minutes (times are here). There is also the City Sightseeing Bus: hat and sun protection required, landscaping guaranteed. (starts from piazza Flavio Gioia in Amalfi, find out more here.)

Ravello

What to do

RAVELLO FESTIVAL

Ravello hosts one of the oldest and most important Italian festivals. On the stage world renowned orchestra conductors, extraordinary soloists and dancers perform against the backdrop of the mountains and in the moonlight. This year, the event will be held from the 8th July to 3rd September and it will mark its 70th edition. On the program there will be 19 concerts, of which 11 symphonic, 2 of jazz music in world premiere, 5 of chamber music and a piano recital between the Niemayer auditorium and the viewpoint of Villa Rufolo. WEBSITE

What to see

villa Cimbrone

Situated on a rocky promontory that once housed the ruins of a Roman villa, the 11th century Villa Cimbrone boasts one of the most spectacular views of the entire Amalfi Coast. Loved by many artists and writers the Terrazza dell’Infinito is lined by a series of marble busts that contrast with the blue hues that blend harmoniously the sky and the Mediterranean below. Today, Villa Cimbrone is a five star hotel but it’s gardens are open to tourists during the season. WEBSITE

Villa Rufolo

Villa Rufolo is a marvellous building with a history that dates back to the 13th century. It was one of the largest and most expensive noble residences on the whole coast. It was also a source of inspiration for many important composers and artists such as Richard Wagner who composed part of his “Parsifal” right among these gardens. These are in fact the most evocative part of the complex: the Belvedere, a colourful and spacious terrace, overlooking the sea, suspended almost on a cloud. We owe its magnificence to Sir Francis Neville Reid who bought the Villa in the mid-1800s and financed its restoration. WEBSITE

Ravello
Gardens in Bloom. Image Courtesy of Caruso, a Belmond Hotel

SHop

The Pink Closet

The Pink Closet
Inside the Pink Closet

Palazzo Avino is another five-star luxury hotel, with terraces overlooking the sea, a starred restaurant and rooms signed by the Italian designer Cristina Celestino. But here we want to tell you about the boutique, one of the latest entries. In addition to the passion for the hotel industry, the young owner and general manager Mariella Avino loves haute couture to which she dedicated The Pink Closet, located opposite the hotel. Among powder pink walls there are clothes, accessories, objects and make-up, some of which are made in collaboration with Italian stylists. Do not miss the collection of headbands. WEBSITE

WHERE TO SLEEP

CARUSO, a belmond hotel

The Hotel Caruso of the Belmond group is at the entrance of the village. It has large spaces: you’ll find terraces, gardens and an infinity pool suspended over the sea that will be become your home during the stay. It also has three suites that feature a private entrance and garden and a 4-person villa with dedicated butler. Try the pizza, the Amalfi sfusato cocktails and the tasting menu by chef Cristiano Trapani, star of Italian haute cuisine. Sure, you can relax all day in this little Mediterranean Eden, but don’t miss the experiences it offers, from the cooking class and pasta making course to excursions to Cetara to find out how anchovies are preserved (includes tastings), or in Pompeii to see the latest addition: the villa del Frutteto and the recently unearthed frescoes. WEBSITE

Hotel Villa San Michele

Hotel Villa San Michele is a less opulent but delicious alternative, for those who prefer to stay closer to the sea, the Hotel Villa San Michele is literally built on the cliffs of Castiglione di Ravello, and you will literally fall asleep to the lullaby of the waves. Family run, good restaurant and a very intimate atmosphere. The view is guaranteed in every corner of this white house through large blue windows. WEBSITE

B&B I LIMONI

Among the olive and lemon trees of an organic farm, the B&B I Limoni has only two simple but elegant rooms (a suite for 4 people and a room for three) in a breathtaking position (located just below the Villa Cimbrone). It is also an excellent starting point for walking around: in 15 minutes you will be in the center of Ravello, in 25 minutes to Minori and .in half an hour to Amalfi. WEBSITE

Bar Caruso, a Belmond Hotel


Stay up to date. Sign up to our newsletter