Photo of Ravello

Visit Ravello

Ravello is a little way east of Amalfi, in the eastern half of the spectacular Amalfi Coast which runs along the southern edge of the Sorrento peninsula: Ravello clings to the hillside 335 meters above the sparkling sea of the Amalfi coast.

Because of its historical importance and natural beauty Ravello is now listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Explore Ravello

Italy This Way review: the views from the beautiful gardens of two villas in the town make Ravello one of the star attractions of the Amalfi coast, and the town is also picturesque and - although quite small - interesting to explore.

Although there are a few notable buildings such as the 11th century cathedral in the town it is above all for the villas and the spectacular views along the coast that you will fall in love with, and long remember, Ravello.

Ravello town centre and tower

However before rushing off to the garden views for which Ravello is famous we suggest you first take the time to explore the town centre. If you arrive by bus you will be dropped off in Piazza Vescovado next to the duomo (cathedral).

This square is the heart of the town, with restaurants and cafes, and access to one of the gardens, as well as the cathedral.

Although the facade of the cathedral is rather plain the cathedral itself dates from the 13th century and was renovated in the 18th century.

Inside the cathedral there are two monumental pulpits from the 13th century. Both are ornately decorated and one is supported on six columns on the backs of six marble lions!

Also notice the 12th century bronze doors which are decorated with scenes of the Passion. These doors are rare as there are not many bronze doors remaining in Italy.

As well as the cathedral youxill find lots of interesting medieval buildings, towers, gardens and parts of ancient walls that provide an attractive backdrop to the town so take your time to explore the charming streets.

From one corner of the main square you can follow a narrow shopping street, where you will find several interesting galleries and shops, and a large pottery manufacturer where you will be tempted to spend some money

Another road from the main square, Via della Marra, leads down the hill and through a large stone arch to a place with a very pretty view across to the terraced hills opposite (and another pottery shop).

 
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Villas in Ravello

After exploring the town centre there are two very well known villas that can be visited in Ravello - the Villa Rufolo and the Villa Cimbrone.

Each of the villas offers extremely impressive and far-reaching views along the Amalfi Coast from lovely terraces.

Both of the villas also have formal gardens liberally sprinkled with statuary and ornaments and are a further highlight of your visit. The almost year round sunshine here and sheltered position ensures that there are always flowers in bloom in the gardens.

Villa Rufolo is entered through a tower and medieval gateway in the centre of Ravello almost opposite the cathedral and Villa Cimbrone is a ten minute walk to the south of the town centre.

The view from the terrace at Villa Cimbrone was described by Gore Vidal as 'the most beautiful place that I had ever seen in all my travels'. I can confirm it is very special indeed!

It is lovely to walk through the gardens of Villa Cimbrone and suddenly reach the views of the 'terrace of the Infinite' - if you do nothing else during your visit to the Amalfi coast except spend half a day at these villas you will go home happy and wanting to return!

The Villa Rufolo holds open air chamber concerts from March to October, a spectacular location to listen to music.

Artistic associations

Ravello has very strong artistic and literary connections stretching back over 120 years. This started with Richard Wagner who claimed the gardens of Villa Rufolo were like the famous gardens of Klingsor in Parsifal.

D H Lawrence later came here to write part of Lady Chattersly's Lover; the artist Escher was inspired to draw his 'endless staircase' pictures after a visit to the towns of the Amalfi coast); Virginia Woolf and many others were to visit in the following decades.

Ravello now has an annual music festival and other cultural events to continue the tradition.

Villa Cimbrone, Ravello

Attractions nearby

There are numerous stunning views and lovely coastal villages along the Amalfi coast around Ravello. See Amalfi Coast travel guide for details.

The view from Ravello to the sea looks down over Atrani, a small town next to Amalfi, with a beach in the centre of the town that is virtually jonned to Amalfi which is one of the key towns to see on the Amalfi coast.

It is possible and very beautiful to walk between the villages. Perhaps do a mix of walking and getting the bus or ferry. From Ravello you can walk to Amalfi, Atrani, Minori and Scala on well marked walks.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Campania guide.

See also: 

Photos of Ravello

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Map of Ravello and places to visit

 
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Ravello places to visit

Villa Rufolo

Villa Rufolo

Villa Rufolo is a villa in Ravello with beautiful gardens and views across the Mediterranean

Villa Rufolo guide
Villa Cimbrone

Villa Cimbrone

Villa Cimbrone is a historic villa in Ravello on the Amalfi coast, with remarkable views from its belvedere

Villa Cimbrone guide
Atrani

Atrani

Atrani is a pretty village next to Amalfi in the heart of the Amalfi coast

Atrani guide
Amalfi coast

Amalfi coast

The Amalfi Coast has one of the most lovely coasts in Europe

Amalfi coast guide
Amalfi cathedral

Amalfi cathedral

Amalfi cathedral has ancient origins, and elements of baroque, renaissance and Arab-Norman architecture

Amalfi cathedral guide
Amalfi

Amalfi

Amalfi is one of the principal scenic villages in the heart of the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Campania

 
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