Ravello is one of many small towns on the Amalfi Coast in Italy ~ the gorgeous coastline south of Naples. Ravello is the quintessential picture of a small, romantic Italian town. This post is one part of my series on planning your trip to the Amalfi Coast. To complete your trip planning, also check out my post on Positano, Capri and Details of the Amalfi Coast.
Ravello is one of my favorite spots on the Amalfi Coast because it’s such a serene contrast to the other bustling cities on the coast. You feel as though you are in a castle high in the hills. (It reminded me a lot of Eze in France.) Many people will spend only an hour or two in Ravello, but I loved spending the night here. The city is so peaceful in the evening and it is nice to see everything away from any daytime crowds. If you have time in your itinerary, I highly suggest taking your time in this wonderful city!
Ravello is a small town with narrow stone walkways and gorgeous views at every turn. It’s impossible to have a bad view in this town! The main attractions of Ravello are the two large villas – Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo. I thought both were definitely worth seeing. If you have time after viewing the villas, you can also shop in the pottery shops and art galleries or tour one of the churches.
Villa Rufolo was once the Rufolo family estate and is now open to the public. It has various gardens and terraces and some of the most amazing views I have ever seen! If you look at pictures of Ravello, most of them are probably taken at Villa Rufolo. Villa Rufolo is known for its music festival each July-September which features many orchestras. This might just be the world’s most beautiful concert location!
Normally there is a garden located on the bottom terrace of Villa Rufolo. I spent a long time searching for the gardens only to realize that they were covered by the stage and chairs of the festival! I’m assuming the gardens are there after the festival concludes which would mean September through late May/early June. I was there in late June and set up for the festival had just begun.
The city of Ravello is a very popular location for symphony concerts so check the location of the concert to make sure it’s in the location you want. The Ravello Music Festival is offered in different locations in Villa Rufolo from July-September (one location is pictured above). The Ravello Concert Society is an entirely different series of concerts that extends past summer with most concerts held inside the Annunziata Historic Building (the large building just below Villa Rufolo).
Info: Open every day from 9am-9pm with the last entrance at 8:30pm (5 euro). The entrance is in the Piazza Duomo (it’s hard to miss).
Villa Cimbrone (pronounced cheem-brone-eh) has been owned by various aristocratic families in the past and now features a restaurant, a hotel and a garden. Villa Cimbrone is known for its gardens and particularly for the views from the garden terrace on the edge of the property. Villa Cimbrone is on the edge of town so they have spectacular panoramic views of the coast.
They have a small cafe (they offered two lunch items) just beneath the terrace so I was able to enjoy lunch in the garden while staring out at an amazing view. What can be better than that?
I visited in June so the flowers were not in bloom. It’s funny how you forget about seasons when visiting gardens and expect roses year round! However this garden is worth seeing for the view alone and you won’t be sad if you don’t get to see flowers in bloom.
Info: Open every day from 9am-sunset.The entrance fee is 7 euro. Villa Cimbrone is only accessible through walking down a long pedestrian path with lots of stairs. Address: Via Santa Chiara, 26, 84010 Ravello SA, Italy
Ravello is tricky to get to because it is high in the hills and is not on the main coastal road. For public transportation you can take the SITA bus from Amalfi or the privately owned city sightseeing bus from Amalfi. There are no trains or any buses from other cities. I splurged on a taxi because I had luggage and didn’t have a lot of time to wait for buses. For more info on transportation within the Amalfi Coast, check out my All the Planning Details post.
Ravello is a small city so any hotel you choose will be in a good location and in walking distance of the sights. One thing to consider is if you have a lot of luggage you might want a hotel close to the road (most of the town is pedestrian only). Some hotels have luggage assistance so you can look into that as well. In Ravello I stayed at La Moresca and would recommend it. My room at La Moresca was very small but very clean and with an insanely gorgeous view (I booked the sea view). Just check it out: