Ravello

Ravello is one of the towns belonging to the Amalfi Coast. It’s a small but lively town, home for 2.500 people and listed in the Unesco World Heritage Site since 1996.

The town has a very peculiar history: it was founded slightly behind the coast, on a hill, as a safe harbour against the barbarians. After the barbarian invasions, Ravello has become a very important town in the Republic of Amalfi.

Ravello has also been a famous destination for artists, writers and musicians, like M.C Escher, Richard Wagner, Greta Garbo, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Leonard Bernstein and Virginia Woolf.

Ravello is part of the traditional Amalfi Coast tour and it should definitely be part of your vacation, even if you have got little time to spare.

How to reach Ravello

There are several ways to reach Ravello, either by car or by public transportation.

How to reach Ravello from Rome

If you landed in Rome you have several alternatives to reach your accommodation in Ravello.

You can:

  • reach Ravello by car: you have to follow Napoli direction, then get out from the high-way at Caserta Sud, get on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria, get out at Pagani-Nocera exit and then follow the signposting to Valico di Chiunzi and Costiera Amalfitana. It’s surely a nice trip, as you will be able to admire, even though from afar, Naples. There is an alternative path too: you will again get out at Caserta Sud, then follow Salerno direction. Get out at Vietri sul Mare exit, then follow the signposting to Ravello. You will travel through Cetara, Maiori and Minori, having at the same time a great view of the Costiera. This second itinerary though is rid with traffic, especially during high season and weekends
  • reach Ravello by Train: sadly there is no train station in Ravello, so you will have to reach Salerno, and then move from there with bus

How to reach Ravello from Naples

In case you landed in Napoli, you can reach Ravello either:

  • by private car: you will have to reach Napoli-Pompei-Salerno high-way and get out ad Angri Sud exit. After the exit, follow Valico di Chiunzi and Costiera Amalfitana signposts; in alternative you can follow the more panoramic route: reach Napoli-Pompei-Salerno highway, then get out at Vietri sul Mare. Follow directions to Ravello and Costiera Amalfitana. It’s surely a more panoramic route, but traffic can be pretty heavy, especially in high season or weekends.
  • by bus: SITA is the public company offering direct trips from Naples to Amalfi; in Amalfi you will have to hop on another bus, the one to Ravello
  • by train: there is basically no point in trying to reach Ravello by train from Napoli, as you will have to reach anyway Salerno and then move by bus to Ravello, losing much time without gaining neither comfort nor better conditions for tickets

What’s the closest airport to Ravello?

If you plan to reach Ravello from your homecountry by plane, Naples Airport Capodichino is the closest one to your final destination. Capodichino offers good connections to the most important airports of Europe.

In case there are no flights from your city to Naples, you will have to reach Roma Fiumicino or Roma Ciampino airports and follow the directions from Rome to Ravello.

What to see in Ravello

Even though Amalfi, Sorrento and Positano are surely more popular than Ravello, there is still a lot to be seen, to be done, to be eaten and drank if this little town.

Ravello is one of the most beautiful rocks you will be able to visit in Costiera Amalfitana, a 350 mt high hill, a natural balcony looking at the beauty of the Gulf.

The Duomo

The duomo is the most important church of the town, with its portal covered by a wonderful bas-relief of Barisano da Trani, brought here from Costantinoples in 1179.

The duomo is one of the most historical and iconic building of Ravello and it definitely deserves to be checked out during your trip.

Don’t miss Coral Museum

Right next to the Duomo you will find the Museo del Corallo, an important collection of jewels, sculptures and pieces of art including one of the most famous products of the history of Ravello, the red coral.

Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium

Ravello is the town of the Costiera with the strongest ties with the world of contemporary culture.

The Auditorium, designed by the international architect Oscar Niemeyer is not just a unique hall for concerts and plays, but also a very beautiful masterpiece of architecture, perfectly blending with the extraordinary landscape of the Costiera. Another landmark you shouldn’t miss.

Villa Rufulo

A villa dating back to 1200, belonging to the powerful Rufolo family and with strong architectural influences from the arabic world; a unique pierce of art that hosted also Wagner, who spent his time in the Villa writing the Parsifal. The villa is so beautiful that the famous composer left a note, after his stay, to the owner: “I’ve finally found the garden of Klingsor”.

Villa Rufolo is one of the most important landmarks of Ravello and hosts on its terrace the Wagner Festival in July. If classical music is your cup of tea, Villa Rufolo is definitely the place to be for your next concert.

Villa Cimbrone

Many foreigners fell in love with Ravello. One of the most important ones for the history of the town is surely William Beckett, British Lord, who bought the old Villa Cimbrone in 1904 and made it an open air museum, putting together different styles, starting with roman statues and ending it with modern art.

Photo by Villacimbrone.com

The garden of Villa Cimbrone is one of the most famous places of the Costiera Amalfitana and it is surely worth a visit. If you reach Villa Cimbrone, do not forget to visit also the Terrazza dell’Infinito / Terrace of Infinite, a balcony that offers one of the best views of the whole Amalfi Coast.

What to eat in Ravello

In Ravello you can have a taste of the extraordinary culinary culture of the Costiera. There are many restaurants offering traditional and modern cuisine, both based on local ingredients and culture.

Spaghetti ai frutti di mare

A very simple dish, putting together the two specialties of this land: pasta and seafood.

Even though you may have tasted such a dish before, our advice is to take it again in Ravello, where this typical Italian preparation reaches its top.

Fish

Fish is by far the most important ingredient of the local cuisine and you will surely have the chance to taste it in many different recipes and preparations.

Seafood and fish make the traditional base of Costiera Cuisine, even though, as you will be able to see in a while, that’s not the only thing to eat.

Cheese

The close Monti Lattari are home to some of the best cheeses of Campania and Italy.

You shouldn’t leave before trying the famous mozzarella, the caciocavallo made from the special milk of local cows, the Provolone del Monaco and the other specialties that you will find almost in every restaurant of the area.

Limoncello

Limoncello is the signature drink of Amalfi Coast. Prepared with the same old recipe and using just local lemons, a special type of lemon that is cultivated just in the costiera and that you will find not just in this liquor, but also in most of the desserts that you will have the chance to taste during your trip.

Costa d’Amalfi – Ravello Bianco, Rosso and Riserva

In Ravello you will find also three special DOC wines, perfect to be companion to the traditional dishes of the Coast cuisine.

  • Ravello Bianco Costa d’Amalfi: a good mix of Falanghina and Biancolella grapes with a very delicate taste and smell. One of the best white dry wines of Campania;
  • Ravello Rosso: a light red wine, produced using Piedirosso, Aglianico and Schiopettino grapes. Light and dry, it’s also perfect for fish meals.
  • Ravello Riserva: just the best wine produced in Ravello makes it into the Riserva, a special selection of wines that have been resting for at least 3 years.

As you can see, there is plenty to see, visit, eat and drink in Ravello, a little town that, not being directly by the sea, it’s maybe able to offer a different view and feeling of the Costiera Amalfitana.

Spare some time to visit this incredible town: you surely won’t be disappointed.