With its breathtaking sunsets and its terraces open to the sea, Ravello is confirmed as one of the most beautiful towns on the Amalfi Coast, as well as an essential stop for those visiting Amalfi, Sorrento or Positano.
The privileged position of Ravello, perched on the Lattari Mountains, and its link with music make it one of the most evocative and renowned locations of the Coast. Many tourists populate the streets of the town especially in summer, when the city comes alive during the annual Festival that sees world-famous artists and musical groups as protagonists.
Two of the most beautiful private gardens in the world complete the picture, with panoramic viewpoints, and some monuments of unquestionable historical value. With this guide on what to see in Ravello, on the Amalfi Coast, we are sure you will think about planning a holiday in these parts as soon as possible.
Ravello, where it is?
Ravello is located on the slopes of the Lattari Mountains. Therefore, to visit the town, it is necessary to move slightly away from the coast and go up the hill.
However, you don’t have to go far: Ravello, in fact, is located a short distance from other places of interest on the Amalfi Coast. It is only 6 km away from Amalfi, 8 from Minori and 10 from Maiori. All destinations are easily reachable and can also be visited during the day.
Ravello, what to see
Visiting Ravello is a must for anyone planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast and, in particular, to Amalfi, which is one of the closest places.
Thanks to its small historic center, where there are all the main places of interest, Ravello can be easily explored on foot and in no time.
Below you will find our tips on the most beautiful things to see in Ravello, but also on how to spend an evening in these parts and how to move from one place to another.
Duomo of Ravello
The first point of interest to report in a guide on what to see in Ravello is, without any doubt, the Duomo. Dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta and San Pantaleone, the Cathedral of Ravello has very ancient origins: it was completed, in fact, in 1087. Later, it had numerous renovations, the last in the 1930s.
Looking the Duomo, it immediately strikes for its sober and geometric appearance. The building has a mix of Romanesque and Baroque elements. Inside, you will admire some works of inestimable value such as the Pulpit, supported by six marble columns decorated with mosaics, and the Chapel of San Pantaleone, which houses the relic of the saint’s blood and a work by Gerolamo Imperiali on the martyrdom of St. Pantaleone. The nearby Duomo Museum also deserves a visit.
Next to the cathedral there is what is commonly defined as one of the authentic beauties of Ravello: Villa Rufolo with its incredible gardens.
We owe its construction to the Rufolo family who, in medieval times, enjoyed wealth and prestige. The luck of the Rufolos, however, did not last long and they soon declined. An event that, most probably, also inspired one of the stories contained in Boccaccio’s Decameron.
The villa was then taken over by the Scottish lord Sir Nevile Reid who, in making it his summer residence, knew how to enhance it and restore its ancient splendor. It is thanks to his work that personalities like Richard Wagner fell deeply in love with Villa Rufolo: it seems that the famous German composer was inspired from one of the gardens for his opera Parsifal.
What is striking is the incredible garden structured on two levels: walking along its avenues and strolling along the terraces, you can admire the colors and scents of flowers and plants from all over the world.
The beauty of Villa Rufolo has also contributed to Ravello’s fame as the “City of Music” of the Amalfi Coast: in fact, the international festival which has been animating the Ravello summer for half a century with concerts and events, is held here.
It all began in 1953, when Paolo Caruso, together with the future president of the Salerno Tourist Board, Girolamo Bottiglieri, created an event dedicated to Wagner fans. The event lasted two days and was held on the occasion of the anniversary of the famous composer’s death.
The Ravello Foundation has been in charge of the festival since 2003. In the same year was born the idea of creating a different theme for each edition around which to concentrate the events.
At the Ravello Festival, in the splendid setting of the Villa Rufolo belvedere, the most important symphony orchestras in the world performed, including the Rai National Symphony Orchestra.
If you have just a little time available and you would like to find out what to see in Ravello in one day, you shouldn’t miss Villa Cimbrone for anything in the world.
Its beauty follows that of Villa Rufolo; the credit goes to the work of the English nobleman Sir Beckett who, in the early twentieth century, bought it, saving it from decay.
The interiors of the villa, richly decorated and furnished, host a splendid five-star hotel. The outside, however, is freely accessible by anyone and not just by the guests of the structure. Here it is possible to stroll in an extraordinary garden that reflects both the style of the typical English gardens and some features of the Italian ones. Among colorful flowers and avenues populated by statues, visitors will be able to enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Mediterranean, thanks above all to the privileged position on the promontory. It is no a coincidence that the attraction for which Villa Cimbrone is loved and envied all over the world is called the Infinity Terrace.
It was 1986 when Giorgio Filocamo, an artisan of coral, decided to establish the beautiful Coral Museum, another essential stop for anyone wondering what to see in Ravello.
The museum houses the family collections: many antique pieces all made with the precious red material from the sea. The exhibition boasts accessories, statues, jewelry boxes, religious icons, necklaces and so on. Without any doubt, you will come out enchanted from the visit.
One of the characteristics of the center of Ravello that will most strike the traveler’s eyes is the presence, of many shops and small companies producing ceramic objects. That of ceramics, in Ravello as well as in other places on the coast, is a real art. The windows of the shops of the artisans capture the attention with their many masterpieces: sets of plates and glasses, vases, furniture and many accessories in bright and finely crafted colors. An excellent idea for those who, once arrived here, will want to take home a souvenir of Ravello or give a special gift to their loved ones.
Among the suggestions on what to see in Ravello you cannot miss a beach. Yes, because even if Ravello is located in the hills it still has its own escape to the sea. Castiglione beach opens itself on a small hidden bay surrounded by rocks. Animated by a private establishment that still leaves space for a portion of free beach, Castiglione is only a hundred meters long, is characterized by very fine sand and is accessible by a staircase of about 200 steps. It is a wild and highly scenic place: the side view is in fact dominated by the vision of the beautiful historic center of Atrani.
A modern and welcoming structure, which enjoys a privileged view of the sea of the Amalfi Coast. The Ravello Auditorium, the architectural work designed by the genius of Oscar Niemeyer, was created to celebrate, once again, the town’s bond with music. Its dome shape, designed to guarantee the best acoustic performance, integrates perfectly into the surrounding natural landscape and lends itself to any type of event and musical genre, from the most classic compositions to the most pop and rock ones.
Ravello, what to eat and where
As in the other towns of the Amalfi Coast, also in Ravello you can enjoy the best dishes of Mediterranean cuisine. Fresh, simple and genuine ingredients are a must for fish-based recipes and for meat first and second courses. Lovers of local specialties will be satisfied with a meal at the “Locanda Moresca”, at the “Flauto di Pan” or at the “Antica Cartiera”. Remember, however, that Campania is also the homeland of pizza: in Ravello, you can try an excellent one in places like “Nino’s Pizza” and “Mimì Ristorante Pizzeria”.
Ravello in the evening
The advice on what to see in Ravello ends with some ideas to stop a few hours after dinner, in one of the most beautiful places on the Amalfi Coast.
If you think that Ravello is a city that lives only during the day, you are wrong: Ravello is very lively even in the evening. If you are looking for a place to enjoy a drink or a glass of wine, you will be spoiled for choice: in particular, the central district which is located between the Duomo and the surrounding streets is populated by numerous lounge bars, pubs and wine bars. So be calm: the nightlife of Ravello will not disappoint your expectations.
How to get to Ravello and how to move around
As already mentioned, Ravello is not far from Amalfi, but also from other unmissable places such as Sorrento and Positano. Furthermore, it is easily reachable by highway also from Naples and Salerno.
However, if you are interested in finding out what to see in Ravello and its surroundings during a trip to these parts, the best way to get from one location to another on the coast without stress and / or parking problems is by scooter. For those coming from afar, renting a scooter is a practical, comfortable and economical solution to move between the pearls of the Sorrento Peninsula and the Amalfi Coast and to be able to fully enjoy the freedom of movement that the vehicle allows. The scooter also allows you to move easily in the small historic centers characterized by narrows and small streets such as the ones of Ravello.
On the Sorrento Trips website, a company specializing in the rental of scooters, convertible cars and the organization of boat tours, you will find many convenient and safe offers, as well as all the information you need to proceed with the choice and rental of your own means of transport.
In addition, you will have many useful information to plan your stay on the Amalfi Coast and many itineraries to try.