As I was editing and uploading the photos for this post, I found myself thinking, “I can’t believe I was there”. I am still pinching myself that I visited somewhere so indescribably beautiful.
We’re talking about Ravello, possibly the most beautiful, serene and quietly glamorous town that we visited on the coast (well, it’s high above in the mountains, so not directly on the coast). It easily earns its place on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, and it’s no wonder that it was once a hub for some of the most inspirational artists and writers, including Richard Wagner, Virginia Woolf, André Gide, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and Leonard Bernstein, among many more. I’m quite certain that a few days spent there would make a poet out of anyone.
We spent one afternoon there, wandering around the town and visiting the two spectacular villas, Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo. Both are gorgeous, but if you only have time for one, I’d recommend Cimbrone – even if only for the famous Terrace of Infinity, from which the view is simply breathtaking. If the gardens are anything to go by, the villa (hotel) itself must be something else! Although it was peak tourist season, it was surprisingly quiet and wonderfully peaceful.
Villa Rufolo was a special place for us to visit as musicians. Wagner, having visited the gardens in the 19th century, was so inspired by its beauty that it became a setting for an act in one of his most renowned operas. His music was softly playing on speakers as we explored, which slightly distracted E, being an avid Wagner fan – he made us stop and listen to particular phrases of the music, which I’m sure looked odd to our fellow visitors!
As we walked around the town, we spotted a just-married couple in the town square, we bought two watercolour sketches in a small gallery, and tried to soak in this unique atmosphere that we found in Ravello – it almost felt as though we’d travelled back in time.
I would absolutely put Ravello on the list of towns to visit if you go to the Amalfi Coast – the mountainous bus/car ride to the top is so worth it, it’s truly paradisal and has to be seen to be believed.