Amalfi Coast - Ravello
Ah, Ravello. What an absolute dream. Ravello is a picturesque village tucked away above the Amalfi Coast. What it lacks in size it makes up in charm and beauty - it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Towards the end of our trip to Italy, we stayed in the small town of Atrani (more on that later). I had read about Ravello and the locals told us many times we had to make the trip there. We decided that we just had not climbed enough stairs during our trip and hiked from Atrani to Ravello - 1.8 miles of pure stair-stepping.
If that kind of a workout doesn't sound like your cup of tea, the bus is your next best (and cheapest) option. The bus system on the Amalfi Coast is cheap and very easy to use.
Our hike from Atrani to Ravello took a lot of hard work but the views are always worth it. The path to Ravello cuts right through lemon and olive groves and family farms (with the cutest old Italian farmers). Bougainvillea and native flowers are in full bloom along the way, and a different shade of pastel wall comes with every turn.
I loved the wall reliefs scattered throughout each town on the coast. There were some particularly beautiful ones, like the one above, on the hike en route to Ravello. These reliefs depict saints and some, the virgin Mary (Italians are predominantly Catholic). I can't find information on these beauties anywhere online (I'm sure I just haven't landed on the right keywords in my search yet, ha).
Some of these were more of a relief style but others were 3-dimensional depictions set in glass cases within walls. Have you seen or studied these? I found them to be stunning. I was lost in their details and completely in awe of the craftsmanship behind them.
I will try to find more information on these beauties and will hopefully be able to do a post later on them. I have a pretty decent collection of photos of these and would love to share more!
When visiting Ravello, I highly recommend visiting the gardens of Villa Cimbrone or Villa Rufolo. Even if you aren't terribly interested in gardens, both have very beautiful views high above the coastline. Both have English style gardens that are highly manicured and ornate. We visited Villa Cimbrone (and ran out of time for Villa Rufolo) and I'm so glad we did. The gardens are well maintained with pathways lined with flowers.
At Villa Cimbrone, be sure to check out the Terrazzo dell'lnfinito (Infinity Terrace). It had the most amazing views and I loved the sculptures of the gods. If you are traveling with a lover, they say it's very good luck to share a kiss on the terrace.
If anyone saw the newest Wonder Woman movie and have been to Villa Cimbrone, you may have noticed one of the opening scenes is along the Infinity Terrace.
Another one of my favorite spots was the courtyard and it's easy to miss. It is right next to the entryway ticket booth and I nearly walked right past it without noticing.
Pro Tip: Sneak past the restrooms and there's an amazing vaulted open air venue you can wander through (if it's not booked). It's very pretty!
We spent about a day in Ravello and loved Bar Klingsor (good gelato and even better hot chocolate).
Our time in Ravello was very casual and I didn't take too many notes on my favorite stops. It's a small enough area and easy to explore. There are plenty of places to eat, ceramic shops, artists selling paintings, and vineyards to keep you busy! I wish I could remember the name of a vineyard really close to Bar Klingsor there - there's an artist selling his work inside and it's just stunning.
Remember me telling you our hike from Atrani to Ravello was killer? Well, coming down was a lot easier and this was our view coming back. You just can't beat it.