Set high up on a hill above the sea the charming resort of Ravello offers dizzyingly beautiful vistas over the Amalfi Coast and the Mediterranean. Its refined glamour, secluded villas, lush gardens and incredible views have attracted the aristocratic Grand Tourists of Europe a while ago , who were followed by many writers, artists and musicians. Greta Garbo, Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart and Tennessee Williams have holidayed here.
Although, during high season the town is overrun by tour groups, you can always find a hidden quiet corner along windy cobbled streets.
Two magnificent garden estates, Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, are the star attractions in Ravello. Villa Rufolo, renowned for its luxuriant cascading gardens, provided inspiration for Richard Wagner’s opera Parsifal. The estate is a delicious melange of Arabic, Sicilian and Normal architecture surrounded by colourful blooms and set against the glistening blue of the sea. Villa Rufolo fills up with sounds of music as it hosts the Wagner Festival and The Ravello Concert Society's season of chamber music concerts every year.
|View from Villa Rufolo|
Villa Cimbrone is another must-see in Ravello. In the 1920 the Bloomsbury set loved staying here, so did Greta Garbo, Salvador Dali and Winston Churchill later. Spend some time admiring the fragrant gardens, fountains and the magnificent sea views from the Infinity Terrace.
Do not miss Ravello’s cathedral built in the 11th century and filled up with marble sculptures, mosaics and medieval frescoes. There are several beautiful churches in town; all of them are worth a visit.
Enjoy the town’s relaxing atmosphere strolling along the tiny streets, shopping for local colourful ceramics, sipping a coffee, sampling excellent limoncello or tasting olive oil in one of many delicatessens.
For those feeling fit and adventurous there is a beautiful hike along the Path of the Gods with some of the most unforgettable views on the Amalfi Coast.
Photos via Flickr by: Ben Jeffrey, Andrew Batram, Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.