Perched high on a hilltop overlooking the Amalfi Coast sits Ravello, a medieval village full of winding cobblestone streets, fragrant gardens, and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.
WHAT TO DO
Ravello offers the perfect mix of culture — spectacular churches, villas, and expansive gardens — and complete relaxation in the form of delicious meals and luxurious lodgings with restorative sea views.
You will automatically dial it down in Ravello, where the day’s major decisions tend to revolve around which concert to see or which catch of the day to order for lunch. Give yourself over to wandering the quiet streets and absorbing the art and culture that abounds on literally every street corner.
Explore the Gardens
Don’t miss the Villa Cimbrone, a massive open space comprised of lush gardens, fountains, temples, and assorted follies that overlook the sea in the distance. Lovingly restored by an English lord, Villa Cimbrone is a quirky and wonderful place to relax, have a Campari soda, and enjoy an outdoor concert. Gore Vidal once described the panorama here as “the most beautiful in the world.” It would be hard to disagree.
Another spot worth visiting is the Villa Rufolo, a centrally-located former watch tower with a massive main tower, an important chapel, and a Moorish cloister with Arabic decorative elements. The piece de resistance is the promontory garden filled with fragrant blossoms that was once beloved by Wagner and is now the site of the famous Ravello music festival.
Ravello’s cathedral, built in 1087 and home to one of the most important bronze doors in Italy, is unmissable. Behind the bright white façade is a 14th-century sarcophagus, the chapel of San Pantaleone, that’s notable for the glass, gold, and silver ampulla that contains the saint’s dried blood that miraculously liquifies each year.
Visit Nearby Towns
You will be tempted to never leave your hilltop perch, but several towns along the Amalfi Coast are absolutely worth the drive. Positano, Amalfi, Cetara and Atrani.