Why You Should visit Ravello on Your Italy Adventure

If you are interested in Italy’s historic charm and stunning natural wonders, Ravello is for you. The captivating land is nestled in the enchanting mountaintop along the Amalfi Coast, jam-packed with five-star resorts, captivating views, and brilliant weather.

Ravello

History of Ravello

The earliest documents for this area are from the 9th century when all the coastal cities joined together to form the Amalfi Republic. However, in 1081 a group of Amalfi nobles rebelled against the republic for its betrayal of the Norman King Roberto Il Guiscardo, electing their own duke and developing luxurious houses for the town. It is now a peaceful and historic village, with delightful attractions for a sophisticated holiday along the coast.

The Town’s Fame

Ravello slowly became famous among the artists, with writers and painters using it as the muse in the 18th and 19th centuries. Its reputation grew and began to showcase in poems, songs, and films, of its grand beauty and fabulous charm. As well, it was used by many celebrities over the years for a holiday away from the glare of publicity, as it has remained a tranquil town compared to its large and busy neighbours.

What to do at Ravello?

Learn about its History

There are many churches, villas, and ancient buildings hidden within Ravello’s streets. Take a day to walk the area, discovering the town’s historic birth and its charming backstory. Top attractions include Villa Rufolo, Villa Cimbrone, and Ravello’s Cathedral.

Villa Rufolo

Villa Rufolo

This opulent villa was built in the 13th century and used to be one of the largest and most expensive on the Amalfi Coast. The wealthy family that owned it used to hold lavish parties and banquets for royalty and there were legends about incredible treasures that were hidden there.

In later years the villa fell into disrepair with many of the rooms becoming ruins. In 1851 a Scottish botanist called Sir Francis Neville Reid visited the villa and fell in love with it. He then bought the property and transformed it into the stunning sight we see today. The garden is beautifully landscaped and is bursting with colourful flowers and lined with elegant stonework. The views are equally stunning. From here you can look out to the blue of the sea and sky which, on some days, appear to merge into one.

The gardens are also famed for inspiring the German composer Richard Wagner. When he visited the gardens in 1880 he was taken aback by their beauty and he subsequently stayed in Ravello to complete his opera, ‘Parsifal’.

The Gardens of Villa Cimbrone

Villa Cimbrone

A 15-minute walk from the centre of town lies the charming gardens of Villa Cimbrone. This 11th-century garden surrounds the private Hotel Villa Cimbrone and is a glorious mix of luscious lawns, fragrant flowers, and towering trees. The garden was renovated in the early 20th century and is well-kept whilst keeping much of its historical charms. Like most places in Ravello, the gardens of Villa Cimbrone enjoy superb views over the sea and surrounding landscape and nowhere is this view more spectacular than from the Terrazza dell’Infinito (Terrace of Infinity). Positioned 1,200ft above sea level, the terrace looks over the rocks and private gardens below and across the sea to the distant silhouette of the Cilento Mountains. With an almost sheer drop descending from the terrace, stepping up to the edge is not for the faint-hearted but it is an exhilarating experience! White, marble busts line the terrace walls and contrast dramatically with the blue sky above, standing calmly as they appear to guard you against the rocks below.

As you make your way through the gardens, be sure to stroll along the Alley of Immensity (the main walkway) and visit the beautiful statues and points of interest along the way. Highlights include the Little Temple of Bacchus, the statue of David (a copy of the Donatello sculpture found in the National Museum of Florence), and Eve’s Cave. After walking through the plant-life and structures of the garden, you can head to the tearoom for a drink and something to eat. This café even has its own terrace positioned directly below the Inifinity Terrace and it enjoys the same wonderful views.

The Duomo

With its simple but stunning white façade, Ravello’s Cathedral is an impressive feature of the town. Dating back to the 11th century, this church has had several renovations and improvements over the years with the belltower added in the 13th Century and the white front dating back only as far as 1931. As you walk into the church through the bronze doors (only a few of which exist in Italy) you will be struck by the beauty of the interior. The pulpit is formed of six lions each supporting intricately decorated, spiralled columns and to the left of this, the Ambo of the Epistles displays incredible mosaics of Noah and the Whale. You can also visit the cathedral’s museum which is home to many important sculptures and works of art.

Enjoy the View

Ravello is known to have the most stunning panorama, so why not sit back and enjoy it? Most of the restaurants and hotel rooms within the town offer you a fantastic balcony to do just this. So, we suggest grabbing a chilled bottle of rose and kicking back to relax. Parking yourself down with a glass and watching the sunset slowly fade behind the sapphire ocean horizon.

Listen to the City of Music

Ravello is known as the City of Music due to the musicians and artists it inspired as well as the concerts it holds. If you visit the town around the summer months, then you can book a ticket to one of the musical performances. Listening to an orchestra perform whilst you overlook the wonderful Amalfi Coast is an incredible experience, and one that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Discover the water’s secrets

Hop on a boat and head out to the pristine ocean. Cruise along the coast’s shores, taking in the land’s beauty, or head out further to the vast sea.