Charming Ravello, Italy on the Amalfi Coast, by travel blogger Barbara Wagner, is the third small town featured in our Small Town Explorer Series. The villages and towns we visit in our travels are often the hidden gems of a country or region. This series introduces readers to small towns and centers around the globe, featuring their uniqueness, their history, what to see and do, where to stay and where to dine. Come along as Barbara introduces us to the charms of Ravello, Italy. In case you missed the first two towns in the series:
Ravello, Italy is located on the Amalfi Coast in the Southern Italian commune of Salerno. It is a peaceful Mediterranean town with a population of about 2500 people and built on Monte Torello, which is 350 m tall. The town is one of the most charming small towns in Italy with stunning views of the Mediterranean. In the 12-13th century, the city flourished under the rule of the Rufolo family. At the time, the city had 25,000 inhabitants. The family created the cathedral in the main square and many other religious buildings around the town. The home of the family, Villa Rufolo is the most visited tourist site in the town. You can enjoy a beautiful view of Salerno Bay from its gardens.
Today, Ravello, Italy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Every summer, a classical music festival, the Wagner Festival, takes place here. The city is also known as the City of Music. (Citta de Musica). Ravello has been frequented by many artists, writers, and musicians. Greta Garbo, Jacqueline Kennedy, Virginia Woolf, Giovanni Boccaccio, Joan Miro and Tennessee Williams all holidayed here in the past. No wonder, it is a quiet and glamorous destination.
I visited Ravello, Italy twice in the past and it was love at first sight. I was amazed by the stunning views surrounding the town and by its simplistic, authentic Italian architecture. The town has a very interesting history, some beautiful gardens and villas and charming churches. It is also a cultural center of Europe. On the other hand, it is the most peaceful place on the Amalfi Coast.
Where we Stayed?
When I book a hotel, location is the most important factor for me. We stayed about 5 minutes away from the main square in a small family run hotel called Boccaccio B&B. It has great views of the surrounding areas. The apartment we rented was clean, simple, and spacious. It cost about 100 euros per night.
What Did We Do in Ravello, Italy?
The first time I went to Ravello, I visited the small town on a day trip from Sorrento. I returned last year again for a friend’s wedding. It was a wonderful celebration that lasted for 3 days. Ravello is an ideal place to organize a wedding because it is one of the most romantic places I have seen in Europe. It has beautiful old churches and lovely venues with great views to the surrounding areas. There are two villas every visitor should see even if you only visit Ravello for an afternoon.
We followed Ravello’s quiet streets and lemon groves to discover Villa Cimbrone. We paid 5 euros to enter to see the beautiful rose garden of the villa and admire the views of Sorrento Bay.
Visit this beautiful hotel, which was the home of the Rufolo family in the 13th century. After it was rebuilt in the 19th century, it serves as one of the best hotels on the Amalfi Coast. The villa has a nice garden overlooking the Amalfi Coast. The German composer Richard Wagner visited the villa in 1880 and he loved it so much that he imagined the setting as the garden of Klingsor in the second act of Parsifal. To honour him, the hotel hosts a Wagner concert in the garden every year.
Take the Bus Around the Amalfi Coast
We took the bus to reach the nearby town Amalfi and its famous cathedral. It’s a wonderful town with a beautiful beach. After a few hours of exploration, we hopped on another bus and visited nearby Positano. We spent a few hours on the beach here. Then we hopped on a boat for a short boat ride along the scenic coast.
What Did We Eat?
Ravello and Southern Italy, in general, has some of the best food of Europe. The region boasts many typical dishes. One of the most common produce here is the lemon. You must try some limoncello during your vacation here. It is a lemon based liquor. Try some excellent authentic Italian food at Il Flauto di Pan restaurant at the Villa Cimbrone. The food is delicious and the views will blow your mind. Many ingredients are grown organically in the garden of the villa. Pasta dishes start at 14 euros, main courses start at 22 euros.
Dolceria dell’Antico Portico at Supportico Rua, 10 has some of the best cakes on the Amalfi Coast.
Where to Stay on the Amalfi Coast
Ravello, Italy is a wonderful place for tourists who want to discover a charming Southern-Italian small town with authentic food, great views, and beautiful gardens. You can come here for a classical concert during the Summer. It is also a great place for visitors who want to find a peaceful town to hide away from the crowds of the Neapolitan Riviera.
Have you been to Ravello or the Amalfi Coast? Let us know in the comments.
Barbara is a London based luxury travel and lifestyle blogger of https://www.jet-settera.com/. She left her country, Hungary, when she was 17 to conquer the world as a model. Ever since she has lived in seven countries and visited 74. She blogs about exclusive destinations and the some of the most prestigious events around the World such as Venice, Cannes, San Sebastian Film Festivals, Oscar Parties in LA, Fashion Weeks in Milan or Paris, yacht parties in St-Tropez as well as Prince Albert’s wedding in Monaco.