Ravello is a cliffside town on the Amalfi Coast. With its villas, beautiful gardens, and extraordinary views along the coast, Ravello is one of the most enchanting towns to visit on the Amalfi Coast. In this guide, we cover the best things to do in Ravello with tips to have the best experience.
Interesting Facts about Ravello
Ravello is located on the Amalfi Coast. It sits high on a hillside, so to get here, you will need to take a car or the bus, or if you are very fit, you can hike up here from Minori or Amalfi.
From its hillside perch, you get some of the best views along the Amalfi Coast from this town. One of the best things to do in Ravello is to visit the villas and photograph the gardens with the Amalfi Coast as a backdrop.
Ravello has long been a destination for artists, writers, and musicians. Virginia Woolf, Richard Wagner, Tennessee Williams, M. C. Escher, Joan Miró, Greta Garbo, and Jacqueline Kennedy are just a few of the people who were frequent visitors of Ravello.
The view from Villa Rufolo
Best Things to Do in Ravello
1. Stroll through Piazza Centrale
Piazza Centrale is the main square of Ravello. On this square is the Duomo, cafes, shops, restaurants, an art gallery, and the entrance into Villa Rufolo.
Piazza Centrale and the Duomo di Ravello
Villa Rufolo entrance on Piazza Centrale
2. Visit the Duomo di Ravello
This church dates back to 1068. In 1918, Pope Benedict XV elevated the cathedral to a minor basilica. On a visit to the duomo, you can also visit the Duomo museum and an art gallery within the church.
Inside the Duomo di Ravello
3. Stroll through the Gardens at Villa Rufolo
A visit to Villa Rufolo is one of the best things to do in Ravello.
When it was built in the 13th century, Villa Rufolo was one of the largest and most luxurious villas on the Amalfi Coast. It was built by a wealthy merchant and during the 14th century, banquets for kings and nobility were held here.
Over time, the villa fell into disrepair. Sir Francis Neville Reid, a Scottish botanist, purchased the villa in 1851 and renovated it. Richard Wagner, a German composer, visited the villa in the late 1800’s and was enthralled with it. He stated “I have found the enchanted garden of Klingsor” and went on to write the second act of Parsifal while staying in Ravello.
Villa Rufolo is now a popular tourist destination in Italy. Each summer, the Ravello Festival is held here, and the spirit of Richard Wagner lives on.
Villa Rufolo | Best Things to do in Ravello
On a visit to Villa Rufolo, you can tour the buildings of the villa, but they are rather barren on the inside. The real beauty is in the gardens. From the botanical gardens, you look out over the Amalfi Coast and the towns of Minori and Amalfi, making this one of the most beautiful viewpoints in all of the Amalfi Coast.
Capturing the photo of the tree, the church, and the Amalfi Coast is one of the most iconic shots of Ravello.
Entrance tickets cost €7 and the villa is open daily from 9 am to 8 pm. Hours can vary from July through September during the festival. Get updated pricing and hours before you go on the official website.
4. Visit Villa Cimbrone
Like Villa Rufolo, a visit to Villa Cimbrone is one of the best things to do in Ravello.
This villa is even older, dating back to the 11th century. However, most of the gardens and building as we see them today are about 100 years old, dating back to the early 20th century.
Visitors to Ravello can visit the gardens, which are extraordinarily beautiful. Guests can stay in the villa, a luxury 5-star hotel, and Villa Cimbrone is a popular destination for luxury weddings and events.
For most visitors, the highlight of Villa Cimbrone is the Infinity Terrace (Terrazza dell’Infinito). This terrace is lined with marble busts and has a stunning view out over the Amalfi Coast.
Infinity Terrace | Best Things to do in Ravello
To get to the Infinity Terrace, you will stroll along the Avenue of Immensity (Viale dell’Imenso), walking under a pergola where wisteria bloom during the springtime. From the walkway, there are paths that lead deeper into the gardens and it is well worth your time to visit these as well. Fountains and statues can be found throughout the gardens.
Avenue of Immensity
Villa Cimbrone Cloister
Near the Infinity Terrace, there is a small restaurant with views out to Pontone, a neighboring town. And don’t miss the cloister and crypt, which is located next to the entrance.
Entrance tickets cost €10 and the gardens are open daily from 9 am to 6 pm. The gardens can close for special events at the villa.
Getting to Villa Cimbrone: Villa Cimbrone is a 10-minute walk from Piazzale Centrale (the city center of Ravello). It is a slightly uphill walk to the villa.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: In our opinion, it is worth it to visit both Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone since they both offer different experiences. Villa Rufolo is smaller and closer to Piazzale Centrale and from here, you get the iconic view of the tree, church, and Amalfi Coast. From Villa Cimbrone, you get to visit the famous Infinity Terrace.
5. Go Shopping
Shop for ceramics, limoncello, art, and souvenirs around Piazza Centrale and on the streets extending off of the square.
Ceramics shop | Best Things to do in Ravello
Shopping in Ravello
6. Walk from Ravello to Atrani or Amalfi
From Ravello, it is possible to hike to Atrani or Amalfi. It’s a downhill walk that takes you past terraced slopes covered in lemon trees, small homes, and gardens. Learn more here.
7. Ravello Festival
The Ravello Festival, also known as the “Wagner Festival,” in celebration of Richard Wagner, takes place each summer. Richard Wagner was a German composer who loved the gardens at Villa Rufolo.
The festival runs for two months, starting in early July and ending in early September. During this time, visitors can attend musical performances that range from symphonic concerts to jazz shows to piano recitals. You can learn more on the official website.
How to Get to Ravello
Since Ravello is located in the hills above the coastline, this town tends to be a little less busy than Positano and Amalfi, since it is harder to get to.
And since it is in the hills, you can’t get here by boat. To get to Ravello, you will need to take the bus, hire a driver, or drive here, if you have a rental car.
How Much Time Should You Spend in Ravello?
To visit both villas, do some shopping, and stroll through the compact city center, you need 2 to 3 hours in Ravello.
Ravello can be combined with Amalfi and Positano, if you are taking a day trip along the Amalfi Coast. Ravello can also be combined with Tramonti, which is another town that sits higher in the mountains. Tramonti is surrounded by vineyards and has a much different vibe than the coastal towns, but it is lovely.
We visited Ravello in the morning and Tenuta San Francesco (a vineyard near Tramonti) in the afternoon and had an unforgettable experience. To walk through the vineyard, see the grapes hanging on the vines, taste the wines, and have a home cooked meal, made this one of our favorite experiences on the Amalfi Coast. You can learn more in our guide to the Best Things to Do on the Amalfi Coast (coming soon).
If you have any questions about the best things to do in Ravello, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to Italy
AMALFI COAST: Pick out which towns you want to visit in our article about the best towns to visit on the Amalfi Coast. If you are active and adventurous, one of the best things to do on the Amalfi Coast is hike the Path of the Gods. We also have a 3-day Sorrento Itinerary and information on how to get around the Amalfi Coast. And don’t miss our Guide to Positano, another beautiful town on the Amalfi Coast.
ITALY ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Italy itinerary, take a look at our 10 Days in Italy Itinerary for three different ways to spend 10 days in Italy.
EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: For more great ideas on where to go in Europe, check out our article 30 Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe. You can also get more travel ideas in our One Week in Europe itinerary guide, which has lots of sample itineraries for your next trip to Europe.
Read all of our articles about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide.
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