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I dare anyone to find a town along the Amalfi Coast that isn’t worth a visit. Each and every one of them has their own charm, hidden-gems and things that makes them special.
One of the loveliest and quiant towns, perched atop a cliff, high above the coast, is Ravello. And here are ten of the things I love most about Ravello.
1. The views. The fact that Ravello lies up in the hills above the coast, means it offers a fantastic vantage point from which to see both up and down the rocky coastline. No matter where you roam, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas and a different panorama at every turn.
2. Villa Rufolo. Named for the family who created it, the Villa Rufolo is an eclectic mix of Arabic, Sicilian and Norman architecture. Medieval towers, two-tiered Moorish cloisters and 19th century gardens combine in a beautiful setting. Inspired by the gardens, composer Richard Wagner used them for the setting for his opera Parsifal.
3. Villa Cimbrone. The stunning Italian and English-style gardens on the grounds of the Villa Cimbrone are the star of the show here. There are many different landscaped areas, but the most noteworthy spot is the Infinity Terrace, which is lined with marble busts. From this platform, you feel like your suspended in mid-air as you take in the views and feel swallowed up by the blue sea below and sky above.
4. A meal at the Villa Maria. The Villa Maria is a charming hotel in a prime location, situated at the end of a small cobbled pathway. The restaurant’s food is fresh and top-notch, but enjoying lunch or dinner on the outside terrace is enchanting, especially if you score a table near the railing which overlooks the Dragone Valley and the coast.
5. The Duomo. Built in 1087, this simple church with the white facade has a wonderful set of bronze doors, that are made up of 54 different panels. The interior boasts intricate white marble designs and busts, mosaics and medieval frescoes and pulpits. The lovely bell tower just adds to the charm.
6. The lemons. Lemons the color of sunshine itself and the size of softballs perfume the whole town as they dangle from graceful branches of lemon trees in gardens, terraces and hotel grounds all over town. Trust me, you’ve never seen such large lemons!
7. Limoncello. Even though lemons are used to make the addictive and refreshing smooth, yet tangy liqueur, I felt it really deserved its very own mention. Though other areas on the Amalfi Coast make limoncello, some of the best is made in Ravello. Watch how to make it, and enjoy a nice tasting at the Limoncello Factory at Via Trinity, 37.
8. Ceramics. I’m a sucker for colorful handmade Italian ceramics in vibrant colors like teal green, royal blue, and bright yellow. Thankfully Ravello has no shortage of places to admire or purchase pottery. The Ceramiche d’Art Pascal and Ceramiche Da Lena are two well-known options that have been staples for quite sometime. I love to wander the streets looking for the colorful platters, in many patterns that hang precariously over the ceramic shop doorways while larger pieces spill out onto the streets.
9. The outdoor concerts. Ravello hosts an outdoor concert series every summer, courtesy of the Ravello Concert Society. Lovely classical music and piano concerts are held outdoors in the romantically lit gardens on the grounds of the Villa Rufolo. As an added bonus, they serve limoncello at intermission. It makes for a magical evening.
10. The churches. Considering the tiny size of this sleepy town, it is surprising that it has so many churches. Other than the Duomo, the town has seven other churches, all within easy walking distance. They are all worth a visit, but some notable favorites are the Church of San Francesco, Santa Maria a Gradillo and the San Giovanni del Toro.
What is your favorite thing about Ravello?