Steeped in history with fragrant gardens and heart-soaring views at every turn, Ravello is the jewel in the Amalfi Coast’s crown. It’s even a favourite among stars like Emily Rajatowski and Pierce Brosnan, who flock to the charming Italian village for its medieval streets, mountaintop views and natural beauty.
What to see in Ravello
The coastal vistas from Ravello are worth the visit alone, though the gardens at both Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone are nearly as ravishing. Classical music fans will delight in the annual summer Ravello Festival. Adrenaline junkies can get their kicks navigating the Valle del Dragone’s pulse-quickening hairpin bends in a sleek Maserati Ghibli, or rent a speedy launch for a sun-drenched afternoon on the sea.
Where to stay in Ravello
A knock-out peaches-and-cream villa flanked by rosemary-scented gardens that slope down to the water, Palazzo Avino sits high on Ravello’s hillside. With trickling fountains and lashings of marble, it’s unmistakably Italian and oh so grand – the sumptuous rooms feature hand-made tiles and antique furniture – yet you won’t find a whiff of ostentation. Enjoy the view from the turquoise pool or make a beeline for the hotel’s Clubhouse by the Sea, where steps lead straight into the big blue.
As the sun sets, guests congregate on the terrace for aperitivi soundtracked by birdsong. The route to reach this gem of a hotel, with zigzag turns and precipitous drops, is somewhat dizzying, but well worth the ride. Where to indulge in Ravello Pick up bold and beautiful handpainted ceramic tiles, jugs and serving plates at Pascal Ceramiche D’Arte, then mooch along to Gusti e Delizie for locally produced honey and extra-virgin olive oil. When the heat gets a little too much, Palazzo Avino’s lemon-scented spa with its bubbling hydro pool and limb-loosening bill of treatments is sheer bliss
Where to eat in Ravello
Tucked away down a quaint side street, Enotavola is a must for a wine-fuelled late lunch, while Rossellinis Restaurant at Palazzo Avino serves carefully considered Italian plates in elegant surroundings with phenomenal views. Call in at Baffone Gelateria Artigianale for waffle cones piled high with the creamiest gelato in flavours spanning amarena cherry to dark chocolate.