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Ten Things I Love About Ravello

Photo Credit : Flickr

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?

  • User Gravatar
    Laura from Ciao Amalfi
    April 13th, 2011

    Fabulous post, Robin! You’ve covered just about all of my favorite things about Ravello, and your suggestions for shopping and dining are excellent. The only thing I’d add? The peacefulness. Even during busy summer days there is always something peaceful about being in Ravello. Especially when you escape into the gardens at the Villa Cimbrone!

    Thanks Laura. I’m honored that a local is happy with all of my recommendations! That means alot. Thanks for adding your reason for loving it. It is definitely peaceful, you are right about that :)

  • User Gravatar
    Peter
    April 13th, 2011

    Great post! I nearly asked my now wife to marry me there just after watching the sun go down at villa cimbrone. I loved the local bus trip from Atrani to get there, full of wonderful characters.

    I can’t think of a better place for a marriage proposal, Peter. Glad you had such a wonderful experience!

  • User Gravatar
    Anne-Music and Markets
    April 13th, 2011

    What a marvelous post, Robin. You have captured so many of our very favorite experiences and sights in lovely Ravello – makes me eager to return!

  • User Gravatar
    Debbie - European Travelista
    April 13th, 2011

    I have not been to the Amalfi coast yet but you had me sold with the picture! Villa Rufolo sounds marvelous and then I kept reading and the reasons to visit kept building. Limoncello sounds good. I too am a sucker for ceramics and would love spending time shopping. Outdoor concerts, Limoncello and the views, sign me up!

    The views in Ravello are all that stunning, believe it or not. From what you mention, Ravello sounds like it would be the perfect place for you Debbie!

  • User Gravatar
    Cheryl Howard
    April 14th, 2011

    Ravello is one of my most favorite places ever! It’s stunning. I took hundreds of photos while visiting. Great article.

    Thanks Cheryl. So glad you had the chance to appreciate it!

  • User Gravatar
    Sarah (mrsgryphon)
    April 15th, 2011

    My sister is headed to the Amalfi coast this spring (yes, I’m supremely envious but happy that at least one of us gets to go!) and I’ve sent her the link to this post!

    Oh, how thoughtful Sarah. Thanks so much for sharing the love! You’ll get to enjoy her photos though ;)

  • User Gravatar
    Susan Van Allen
    April 15th, 2011

    Wonderful post–Ravello is one of the most enchanting spots on earth! I would add a cooking class with Mamma Agata http://www.mammaagata.com at her splendid villa. She cooked for the glitterati back in the day: Bogart, Astaire, Jackie O…

    I would too, but since I haven’t experienced that yet, I couldn’t quite add it to my favorites. It’s on my list for a future visit though! Thanks for adding that suggestion to the list, Susan :)

  • User Gravatar
    Jen Laceda
    April 15th, 2011

    I LOVE Ravello! I love that simple Norman church in the piazza. I love nearby Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone! I love having coffee and pastry in an outdoor cafe! I love everything you just said above! Amen!

    Jen, with all those exclamation points, I’m thinking you might just love Ravello ;)

  • User Gravatar
    Debbie
    April 19th, 2011

    Fabulous post Robin. Ravello is one of my favourite towns on the Amalfi coast. The jaw dropping views, the architecture & the beautiful gardens.
    I have been here four times & I never tire of it. Last time we were there we hiked down to Maori (where we were staying ) Over 400 steps & goat paths but very scenic & well worth the effort !

    I haven’t done that hike, but do look forward to it on a return visit! Thanks for sharing, Debbie :)

  • User Gravatar
    Feather Ives
    April 22nd, 2011

    Robin, you are the best. I love your site. I spent 2 weeks along the Amalfi Coast, and I plan to spend at least a month out of the year there for the rest of my life. I loved Ravello. I took some beautiful photos there of many of the things you mentioned.

    Aw, you are too sweet Feather! I’m so glad you got to enjoy Ravello. What an awesome place to spend a month every year. A true treat.

  • User Gravatar
    Annabella Brocato
    September 1st, 2014

    Robin,
    I just visited the Amalfi Coast and by far Ravello was my favorite town. Breathtaking views…anywhere from Villa Rufolo to Cimbrone; peaceful town,…loved dining at the Cimbrone restaurant.
    Thank you so much for your wonderful post. I hope you don’t mind but i used your description in my photos posted on Flickr.

    You’re very welcome for the post. I’m glad you loved Ravello Annabella, thanks for popping by to sing its praises!

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