Tiny Ravello, an idyllic village along the Amalfi Coast, has a long history and vibrant cultural life. Founded by Romans in the sixth century, this picturesque clifftop town is today a haven for travelers drawn to its views, villas, and gardens. Home to Villa Rufolo, which has hosted luminaries from Richard Wagner to Jacqueline Kennedy, and Villa Cimbrone, known for its panoramic views, Ravello is an elegant respite from the crowds along the coast.
The Basics Ravello is one of the few towns along the Amalfi Coast not set at sea level, so it must be reached by climbing a steep road up the cliffside. Given the heavy traffic that plagues the Amalfi Coast in summer, consider booking a Ravello tour and leave the hassle of navigating to a professional driver. The town has a number of historic villas and churches that are best appreciated with a tour guide, so join an all-day Amalfi Coast tour or shore excursion from Naples, Sorrento, or Salerno that includes Ravello. You can also take private tours to Pompeii, Mt. Vesuvius (Mount Vesuvius), and other destinations in the surrounding region of Campania from here.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Unlike the other villages along the Amalfi Coast, Ravello is relatively flat and easier to explore for those with limited mobility.
- Bring a hat and sunblock, and wear comfortable clothing and footwear, as much of your time touring Ravello will be spent outdoors.
How to Get to There
Ravello sits on the clifftop above the historic maritime republic of Amalfi and can only be reached by car or bus. No train line runs along the Amalfi Coast, so you must take the coastal bus from Salerno or Sorrento; alternatively, you can take the train from Rome or Naples to Sorrento, and then transfer to the bus. Ferries also run from Sorrento to Amalfi, where you can catch the bus to Ravello. Guided tours usually include round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
The Amalfi Coast is crowded in summer, while during winter, smaller villages like Ravello close up shop. The best times of the year to visit are spring and fall, when sights and restaurants are open but the crowds are smaller. If visiting between March and November, check out the calendar for the Ravello Concert Society’s annual season of chamber music concerts.
The Ravello Festival
The annual Ravello Festival is among Italy’s finest festivals and celebrates the music of one of Ravello’s greatest fans, German composer Richard Wagner. He was inspired by the architecture of Villa Rufolo when he stayed in Ravello in 1880.
View from The Terrazzo at Villa Cimbrone