Perched up high in the Lattari Mountains, Ravello dominates the Amalfi Coast, offering views of unparalleled beauty.
11 Aug 2020
An inspiring place for poets and intellectuals all the way back to Boccaccio, Ravello is one of the few towns along the Amalfi Coast not built right on the sea. On the contrary, it boasts an enchanting panoramic view along Italy’s most stunning coastline, out over the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Salerno. UNESCO-protected Ravello is one of the most authentic towns on the Campania coast and in the Amalfi area. Getting lost in its streets, narrow alleyways and craft shops is one of the most evocative experiences anywhere around here. Its typical local products include beautiful ceramics, shells and hand-worked items from the sea, and of course the special, unmissable local gastronomy. Why visit Ravello? We give you five reasons to visit this jewel along the Amalfi Coast.
The cathedral: an incredible cultural spectacle.
Dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, Ravello Cathedral was built around the end of the 11th century, making it one of Italy’s oldest (albeit no-longer serving) cathedrals. Ravello Cathedral houses two museums: the Museo dell’Opera in the church crypt, which displays Roman cinerary urns, reliquaries from the early Christian era and ancient artifacts, and the Picture Gallery of Medieval and Modern Art, offering paintings from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, including works by artists Francesco Messina, Giovanni Filippo Criscuolo and Valerio Pilon, who worked on the Cathedral’s chapels. Moreover, the 17th-century chapel houses an ampulla of blood from St. Pantaleone which, just like the blood of St. Gennaro in Naples, liquifies once each year.
The Terrace onto Infinity.
The terraces at Villa Rufolo and Cimbrone enchanted Greta Garbo and Wagner. The city hosts an International Music Festival in Wagner’s honour every year, an event that has made Ravello the music capital of the Amalfi Coast. Dubbed “the most beautiful window in the world”, the terrace cantilevers out from the Lattari Mountains over the sea to offer truly unique views of the surrounding natural beauty. The views from the belvedere are almost dreamlike, especially the view known as the “Princess of Piedmont”: immersed in stunning nature and in an evocative position on a rocky spur, it divides the Valley of the Dragone stream from the Reginna stream at one of the widest viewpoints in the whole gulf, dominating the blue sea along this Divine Coast from a height of 350 metres.
Villa Rufolo, the “garden of the soul”.
Every visitor is bewitched by Villa Rufolo’s timeless beauty, architecture and aesthetic exceptionalism. It comes as no surprise to learn that Wagner chose this residence as his refuge for meditation. The country house’s most important spaces are the entrance tower, the cloister enclosed by twisted columns (one of very few in the Moorish style that remain), a well where Wagner glimpsed his Magic enchanted garden of Klingsor, the incredible Belvedere, and a chapel that hosts a number of art exhibitions throughout the year.
The Coral Museum.
A great tribute to what was at one time the most precious commodity traded through Ravello and a testimony to the city’s strategic importance in days gone by, the Coral Museum was founded in 1986 by Giorgio Filocamo thanks to his innate generosity. It was a great idea to create a home for his family’s precious collection of antique and valuable objects handed down through the generations, the reason for his lifelong passion for coral.
The City of Music.
For 68 years, Ravello has hosted one of Italy’s most revered music festivals. From the first week of July to the end of the month, the city is enlivened by a series of world-class classical music concerts staged at the splendid Villa Rufolo. For the most part, the event is held at the magnificent Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium. In recent years, it has branched out to include more modern music, including concerts by the world’s finest jazz musicians and selections of world folk music. This year, the Ravello Foundation chose conductor, composer and music arranger Alessio Vlad as Artistic Director of the 68th Ravello Festival. The Maestro is tasked with bringing music back to the “Klingsor Garden” as he raises the curtain on the Foundation’s artistic schedule after Covid lockdown.
Where to stay in Campania.
An hour or so from Ravello is the beautiful and lively city of Naples. If you’re this near, don’t fail to visit! Whether it’s for a long weekend or a two-day layover en route from one location in the region to another, UNAHOTELS Napoli is sure to fit the bill. Located close to the Central Station, the old town and the subway network, the hotel’s historic building is in an excellent location, ideal for getting around town and striking out into Naples’ hinterland. Even if it’s just a brief stay, it’s a reward in itself to drink in the unique atmosphere of Naples.