Ravello Guide: All About Ravello Italy
Our Ravello guide will help you learn all about the charming resort town of Ravello, Italy. Perched above the Tyrrhenian Sea in the Lattari Mountains, the area’s stunning landscapes and ancient architecture are not to be missed on any visit to the Amalfi Coast. Things to do in Ravello include visiting the breathtaking Villa Cimbrone Gardens, world-renowned music venues, and winding medieval lanes dating back to Roman times.
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IS IT WORTH VISITING RAVELLO?
Although on the Amalfi Coast, Ravello is not a seaside village. Rather, it sits 365 meters above Amalfi Town at the end of a steep 4-mile (7 km) road full of hairpin turns. Its remote mountain-top location has flatter terrain than some other Amalfi Coast villages, and fewer visitors.
Ravello is home to the famous terraced gardens of Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo as well as the celebrated summertime Ravello Festival. The combination of craggy ocean vistas, less stairs to climb, fewer tourists, and an emphasis on music, art, and the outdoors make Ravello one of the best places to visit on the Amalfi Coast.
WHERE IS RAVELLO ITALY?
On Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, Ravello is in the province of Salerno, Campani by the Mediterranean Sea. Ravello is situated close to the popular Amalfi Coast - Italy tourist towns of Amalfi and Positano. The three towns are often visited together. The closest large city with an airport is Naples (45 miles or 72km away).
HOW TO GET TO RAVELLO ITALY
Like many locations on the Amalfi Coast, it takes effort to get to the town of Ravello. From the Amalfi Coast Highway there is a steep, narrow, heavily trafficked road with snaking turns that most visitors traverse to reach the town. Alternately, there is a stairway that runs between Ravello and the village of Atrani.
Pro Tip: Plan to arrive in Ravello around 9 am when the Duomo and shops are opening. This time of the morning the road is less heavily trafficked (and less harrowing).
Car/Scooter – Many tourists rent cars, motorcycles, or scooters to drive to Ravello. However, driving a private vehicle is not recommended, especially during the summer months when traffic is heaviest. Tourists who do rent cars will find twisty, often one-lane sections of road that are traveled by local vehicles, rental cars, delivery trucks, emergency vehicles, and public buses.
Private Car Service – Some travelers choose to book private car service to travel from Amalfi coast towns to Ravello. A one-way trip from Positano to Ravello is around $110 Euros and takes around 50 minutes.
Sita Bus – The Amalfi Coast system of public buses runs between Ravello and many Amalfi Coast towns. Currently, the cost of a one-way bus ticket is around $2 Euros. Tickets may be purchased at small shops close to bus stops (you cannot buy tickets on the bus).
Pro Tip: Often these shops do not advertise the sale of tickets, making them difficult to locate. Also, store hours vary from day to day (sometimes closing mid-day and earlier in the evening than posted hours). Once you locate a shop, buy all the tickets you think you might need.
Sita Bus Positano to Ravello: It takes at least two Sita buses to drive from Positano to Ravello (Positano to Amalfi, and Amalfi to Ravello). The time averages 2-3 hours depending on the number of stops made (stops are frequent). Also, if a bus arrives full, you will need to wait for the next one.
Sita Bus Amalfi to Ravello: It takes one bus to drive between Amalfi and Ravello. The journey can take 20-50 minutes depending on traffic, and the time of day.
Private Bus/Taxi – Several private taxis, vans, and mini-buses travel between Amalfi and Ravello daily. Typically, this type of transport can be accessed by the Statue of Flavio Gioia close to the bus stop in Amalfi Town. Generally, no prior booking is required (pay upon boarding ). Trips are usually non-stop and range from $2-15 Euros depending on the type of vehicle. (We recently took a private minibus from Ravello to Amalfi, non-stop, for $2 Euros each.)
Walk/Hike: The Ravello-Atrani-Amalfi walk is a 2-mile (3.4 km) pedestrian route that runs between the three villages. The route is made up of a series of stone staircases and short stretches of road that pass by lemon groves, olive trees, and panoramic Mediterranean views. It is estimated the path will take about 2 hours of downhill walking between Ravello and Atrani, with a few extra minutes of road walking between Atrani and Amalfi.
Pro Tip: Wear sturdy walking shoes for the uneven stairs with loose stones and bring a GPS as the trail is not well marked.
Tour Company: A popular way to see Ravello is via a commercial day tour from Naples, Sorrento, Positano, or Salerno. Many tours combine a trip to Ravello with stops in Amalfi and/or Positano. Tours can be booked online prior to travel, though a hotel concierge, or by the waterfront in most Amalfi Coast Italy towns.
PARKING IN RAVELLO
Ravello has a limited traffic zone system in place with delivery, resident, and municipal vehicles driving on the one-lane roads during certain hours of the day. During other hours, no traffic is allowed and the town is pedestrian-only.
Parking lots are located on the outskirts of town. There is a commercial fee-based parking lot behind the Duomo (140 spots), just off the main piazza. Drop-off and pick-up for many private cars, taxis, tours, and the Sita bus occur here. There is also a for-pay parking lot (80 spots) located by the Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium.
RAVELLO HISTORY AND CULTURE
Like many Italian towns, Ravello is built around a duomo (cathedral). The main square, Piazza Vescovado, sits at the bottom of the front steps of the Duomo di Ravello. The square fans out into a series of lanes that are a mixture of Roman, medieval European, and 20th-century modern architecture. Throughout the ages poets, artists, and musicians such as Richard Wagner, Greta Garbo, Truman Capote, and Virginia Woolf have been called to create and perform in the lovely mountain-top enclave.
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, must-see points of interest include the Duomo di Ravello, the Moorish-styled Villa Rufolo, and the gorgeous Infinity Terrace of the Villa Cimbrone Gardens. In addition to its elegant architecture and phenomenal views, since 1953 music lovers from across the world have flocked to Ravello for the annual summertime Ravello Festival. The festival features a series of musical and artistic performances in striking outdoor settings at the Villa Rufolo and Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium.
BEST TIME TO VISIT RAVELLO ITALY
Spring/Autumn: Enjoy sunny, warm, long days, and fewer crowds than in the summer.
Summer: Although the town is at its most jam-packed, visit in the summer if you are a music lover who plans to attend Ravello Festival events and performances.
Time of Day: Visit before noon and after 5 pm for a less hectic environment.
Pro Tip: Watch the weather forecast. If you are able, visit Ravello on a day with at least partial sunshine to fully experience the mountain vistas and the horizon’s multilayered shades of blue where the sea meets the sky.
HOTELS IN RAVELLO ITALY
You can see the highlights of Ravello in one morning or afternoon, but to get to know the town stay a couple of nights. In the evening, visitors are able to experience the serenity of the mountaintop colony after the crowds have dissipated for the day. Check out these luxury, mid-range, and lower-cost hotels in Ravello:
Luxury: Palazo Avino, Hotel Villa Cimbrone, Hotel Villa Fraulo and Palazzo Confalone
Mid-Range: Garden Ravello Restaurant and Hotel, Hotel Rufolo, Hotel Villa Ramano, and Villa Amore
Lower-Cost: Hotel Parsifal Antico, Casa Doce Casa, Il Ducato Di Ravello, and Hotel Toro
At the end of a morning or afternoon of sightseeing locate a Ravello restaurant with outdoor seating. Many of village's verandas overlook lemon groves, vineyards, and/or the sea. Check out these fine dining and everyday dining Ravello Restaurants:
Fine Dining: Belvedere Restaurant, Rossellinis Restaurant, and Hotel Villa Maria – Giordano
Everyday Dining: Salvatore Ravello 1958 Restaurant, Babel Wine Bar Deli & Art, and Mimi Ristorante Pizzeria
THINGS TO DO IN RAVELLO
Here is a list of things to do in Ravello, Italy. For more details see our article: Things to do in Ravello Italy.
Visit the Villa Cimbrone Gardens and Infinity Terrace
Light a candle in the Duomo di Ravello
Explore the Moorish towers, cloisters, and iconic views of Villa Rufolo
People watch in Ravello’s Vescovado Piazza (main square)
Wander the narrow lanes and citrus gardens of Ravello’s neighborhoods
View the Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium
Shop for art and ceramics
Have lunch with a view
Discover Ravello’s neighborhood churches
Hike the Ravello-Atrani-Amalfi Walk
Goodbye for now. We hope you found our Ravello guide useful, Laura and Randy
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