5 things to see in Ravello
Just over 15 kilometers from our boutique hotel is Ravello, one of the most fascinating places on the Amalfi Coast. Founded in the 5th century, it was built in an elevated position on the hills rather than on the coast like the other coastal settlements. Over time it has been able to enchant artists of the caliber of Giovanni Boccaccio, Gore Vidal, Virginia Woolf and Truman Capote with its beauty, just to name a few. It is also known as the “city of music” for the numerous international events it hosts, including the famous Ravello Festival.
What to see in Ravello? We have selected for you the 5 things not to be missed.
Among the unmissable attractions there is certainly Villa Rufolo, a prestigious monumental complex located in the historic center of Ravello. This magnificent villa overlooking the sea, from which it is possible to admire an unparalleled panorama of the Gulf of Salerno, takes its name from the powerful and rich family who had it built in the 13th century. The highlight of the villa is the garden, whose beauty is due to the Scottish botanical expert Francis Neville Reid, who designed it in the 19th century, starting a real school. This is where every year, between the end of June and the beginning of September, the Ravello Festival is held, the oldest musical and cultural event in Italy after the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
The Terrace of Infinity at Villa Cimbrone
Another historic monumental complex in Ravello is Villa Cimbrone. In its magnificent gardens (open to the public every day of the year, from 09:00 until sunset) there is the infamous and romantic Terrace of Infinity, an enchanting natural balcony from which you can enjoy one of the most spectacular views of the coastal, if not the world. The American writer Gore Vidal once said: “I was asked by an American magazine what was the most beautiful place I had ever seen in all my travels, and I replied: the panorama of the Villa Cimbrone belvedere on a bright day in winter, when the sky and the sea are so vividly blue that you cannot distinguish one from the other“.
The Coral Museum
The Coral Museum is also undoubtedly worth a visit, which is located at the Camo company, where this precious treasure of the sea is handcrafted. The museum, founded in 1986 by coralist Giorgio Filocamo, brings together a rich collection of refined artefacts, cameos, votive offerings, mother-of-pearls and period tools for working coral. Among the countless objects on display are: a Christ on a crystal cross dating back to the 17th century, a Madonna from the 16th century, a snuffbox covered with cameos in Louis XVI style and a Roman amphora from the 3rd century AD. with an internal coral formation.
The Cathedral of Ravello
The Cathedral, also known as the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta and San Pantaleone, contains relics, ancient legends and a precious museum which brings together a modest collection of sacred works of art. It was built in the second half of the 11th century on the model of the Abbey of Montecassino but its current appearance is due to various renovations and adaptations dating back to different eras. Of particular interest is the central bronze portal, created in 1179 by Barisano da Trani. Inside, however, the following stand out: two splendid ambos with marble inlays; the magnificent pulpit supported by six twisted columns; and the chapel of San Pantaleone, where the ampoule with the saint’s blood is kept.
The beach of Castiglione
Ravello, whose historic center clings to a rocky spur, also has its beaches, among which Castiglione beach stands out, one of the most beautiful on the Amalfi Coast. It is located in the hamlet of the same name, on the border with the municipality of Atrani, and to reach it it is necessary to climb a steep staircase of almost 200 steps but it is really worth it. About 100 meters long, it is lapped by a sea with a crystalline color and unique clarity. Get there early in the morning because, being surrounded by high rock faces, it has the disadvantage of remaining in the shade from the early hours of the afternoon.