Sunday 30th July – Tuesday 1st August (2 nights)
Departing Positano, Jamie and I continued the windy drive along the Amalfi Coast heading for the old medieval town of Ravello, perched higher than any other town along this famous stretch of coastal beauty.
Now a few key things to note about Ravello!
- It Is the most beautiful town on the Amalfi coast! Perched up high on the hilltops and not along the beachfront like the other towns, which means 80% of your time in Ravello you will have amazing views over the sea.
- It is a town made for the glamorous holiday makers and not the budget conscious traveller. The area consists mainly of stunning hotels designed for people to enjoy some luxury, relax and indulge in the most amazing views, food and wine Italy has to offer for a few days.
- There is not much to do in Ravello after enjoying some down time and a visit to the gorgeous Villa Cimbrone and Rufolo Gardens. I would recommend spending 1 to 3 nights here then move on to explore more of what the Amalfi coast has to offer. Or if working your way from Naples, leave it as your last stop as we did, as it is the perfect place to unwind away from the tourists before departing the Amalfi coast 🙂
- When visiting the Amalfi coast – at least make a day trip to Ravello. You can’t come here and not take the day to visit this beautiful town.
- If you have sacrificed staying in luxury accommodation, or even just for the hell of it, I recommend visiting the following hotels!
- Have lunch at the Belmond Caruso pool cafe: the most beautiful hotel in Ravello!
- Enjoy drinks taking in the views from the Palazzo Avino hotel Terrace
- Hotel Cimbrone – you can purchase day passes to use the pool and explore the gardens which are exclusive to the hotel only
On route to Ravello, we decided to stop off and visit the town of Amalfi for lunch and a wander. Parking was for once pretty easy, with a massive new car park recently having opened within walking distance to the town through the caves the car park has been built into, which were blissfully cool compared to the heat outside.
Amalfi was quite disappointing, in that the town was just over full with tourists, shops selling trinklets we had already laid eyes on in Sorrento and of course the beach where hundreds of bodies were soaking up the rays on deckchairs spread out over the pebbled sands. (Of course if you are coming straight from Naples to Amalfi as your base, you will find it much more interesting!)
We left after a stop off for lunch and continued the drive up the cliffs to Ravello, arriving earlier than anticipated. I had booked a B&B for 2 nights, situated in the heart of the town centre, which advertised having private parking, as we decided not to spend the money on a luxurious hotel here but wanted to see the place.
Ravello is definitely designed for the holidaymaker looking for the tranquillity and calm of the Amalfi coast that you can only get here away from all the tourist traps – and are willing to pay the price for it. The area boasts gorgeous hotels in all directions with amazing views over the sea, offering a private, romantic holiday to the more financially advantageous.
After a little confusion we found the little private car park which belonged to the B&B owner a little way down the road just before the big main car park, and called our host to see when he would be around to check us in.
It turns out the B&B was in a very tall, thin medieval building made of stone which was actually once part of the fortress which was used as the main gateway in and out of the city! The B&B looks like it is run down from the outside with bits of the walls missing, however it is so old it would be a terrible shame to knock them down. Therefore the B&B owner decided to keep the remains as original as possible and incorporate the B&B around them. There are only 3 double rooms, which were basic but adequate; especially for the bargain price we paid.
After checking in we walked across to the main old square, which was much quieter despite it still being around 4pm on a July summer day. Not many people venture out to Ravello as it is further along the Amalfi coast than people wish to venture to if staying in Sorrento for example, however it is absolutely gorgeous and I am so glad I did not miss this crowning jewel of the Amalfi coast!
We visited the famed villa Rufolo in the late afternoon, which was setting up for an opera concert that evening as part of the Ravello festival, which happened to be on the same time we were visiting. The gardens were stunning and the views incredible. After an hour of taking more pictures than I can count, my boyfriend dragged me away to the bar next door where we were able to take in the gorgeous views and hear snippets of the show next door. We then took a wander to find somewhere for dinner, and ended up in a little hotel enjoying a fine dining dinner with incredible views.
Day 2 – Villa Cimbrone hotel & Gardens!
Today I had the good sense to call the Villa Cimbrone hotel and ask if we could purchase day passes to use the hotel swimming pool after our visit around the gardens. The receptionist was lovely and very accommodating. She said there was some availability left for the day and reserved us a space at the pool for the afternoon.
We decided to look around the gardens first, which were gorgeous. The famous Balcony views were breath-taking and did not disappoint! After a few hours perusing the gardens, we headed over to the hotel entrance. After paying our entrance fees we were escorted to the pool area – what a beautiful place!
Luckily for us the pool was very quiet, and Jamie and I enjoyed lunch and the afternoon soaking up the rays in this beautiful heaven. Finally when the sun went down we bid farewell to the hotel staff and headed back into the town centre for dinner.
It was a perfect day to end a wonderful two week holiday along the Amalfi Coast.
The following morning we enjoyed a relaxed start, checked out and drove back to Naples airport, where we dropped off the hire car surprisingly easily before catching our flight home to London.
I absolutely loved Ravello. I felt like it was a safe haven away from the swarming tourists, a town which elicited a real medieval character and was a perfect place to relax and enjoy for two nights. I would highly recommend a visit, at least for the day when visiting the Amalfi coast!
My next adventure is not until February, so you have a little while until my next escapade will be posted. However it’s an exciting one, I’m off to explore South Africa for 3 weeks! So keep your eyes peeled in March for new blogs 🙂