Ravello is one of the villages in the Amalfi Coast that was not built by the sea, and yet it enjoys an enchanting panoramic view of the most beautiful coast of Italy, the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Salerno. There are still many stories to discover along its medieval streets, its villas and their gardens and its ancient stone footpaths.

Ravello has been named the city of music and is home to the Ravello Festival and the impressive Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium. Made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, today Ravello represents one of the most famous Italian destinations for international tourists and enthusiasts of architectural beauties, and above all, an authentic place for the soul of intellectuals and fans of art and culture.

The gorgeous terraces of Villa Rufolo and Cimbrone allow one to admire the unparalleled panorama that enchanted Wagner, in honor of whom the International Music Festival was born here and made Ravello famous all over the world.

Today Ravello is always animated by intense cultural activities, boasting a calendar of events, shows and concerts involving the whole town, residents, enthusiasts and casual visitors from the late spring-summer season on until the end of December.

How to reach Ravello

To get there you need to deviate by the State Highway 163 between Amalfi and Minori and go up a few kilometers. You can get to Ravello also going down from the mountain pass Chiunzi (just off the A3 Angri). Ravello is connected to Amalfi by the SITA bus.

3 things to do in Ravello

  • Visit the gardens of Villa Rufolo, knows as The garden of the soul.
  • Visit the Coral Museum.
  • Be enchanted from the breathtaking view from Villa Cimbrone's terrace of Infinity.

The ideal time to visit the city of Ravello is the late spring-summer, because during these months the city hosts many exhibitions, events and especially the Ravello Festival with its extensive program of outdoor concerts. Therefore, classical music fans, it is an event not to be missed, since every year it hosts international artists within suggestive sceneries like that of Villa Rufolo or of the Auditorium Oscar Niemeyer.

Not only a beautiful place to visit, Ravello has inspired composers, musicians and writers from around the world and today is one of the most popular venues for weddings and luxurious ceremonies, as well as other cities on the Amalfi coast. If you are planning to spend a few days or weeks in Ravello, here are some itineraries on the Amalfi coast from which to take your cue for your tour in this corner of paradise.

Villa Rufolo Gardens

The garden of Villa Rufolo, known as the "Garden of the Soul", occupies two levels and is reached by following a tree-lined avenue with a distinctly Victorian air. The ancient walls, almost hidden by cypresses and lime trees, lead to the Moorish cloister. You have time to savour the noble lines of the monument's architecture before descending a few steps to the first level of the garden.

The redolent atmosphere infuses you with the spirit of the Romantic garden, with echoes of Boccaccio's stirring poetry. The history of the garden can be divided up into three distinct phases:

  • The original phase, dating back to the 13th century, when the Villa was built.
  • The medieval phase, of which only a few traces remain, recalling the garden Boccaccio described on the first day of the Decamerone, when it may have extended all the way to the Mormorata, where the Rufolo family owned other land.
  • The Romantic phase, with Francis Nevile Reid as its genius loci, a Scottish philanthropist and expert on botany and ancient art, recognized in his appointment as Honorary Superintendent by the Prefect of Naples.

L'era di Reid ha segnato la rinascita dei giardini di Villa Rufolo e anche l'inizio della fama della Villa. Era il maggio 1880 quando Wagner visitò Ravello e "scoprì" il giardino incantato di Klingsor come aveva immaginato per la sua opera Parsifal. Wagner immaginò l'altissima torre medievale sprofondare nel nulla e diventare un giardino incantato, e poi le piante tropicali assumere le sembianze di splendide fanciulle, e infine il giardino stesso trasformarsi in un deserto nell'attimo in cui Parsifal uccide il negromante Klingsor. Attratto dal clima mite e dalla bellezza dei posti Neville Reid elesse Villa Rufolo a sua dimora estiva acquisendo per la Villa varie specie di piante esotiche.

Nel corso del tempo, e in particolare nel XX secolo, i giardini hanno subito una serie di demolizioni: durante la guerra furono confiscati dalle forze inglesi; nel 1951 hanno sofferto di una tempesta particolarmente violenta; e nel 1955 la costruzione della strada provinciale ha eliminato la parte superiore del giardino.

Auditorium di Ravello

The history of the Auditorium in Ravello begins at the beginning of July 2000. During a conference organized by S3.Studium in Ravello, emerged inadequate infrastructure of Ravello and the need for an auditorium finally adapted to the needs of the country music and congress hall. The journalist Roberto d'Avila proposed as a designer Oscar Niemeyer, linked by esteem and friendship with Domenico De Masi. Encouraged by the then Mayor of Ravello Secondo Amalfitano, the same d'Avila, returned to Brazil, on July 7 became the spokesman of Domenico De Masi at Niemeyer and asked him to name the design of the auditorium.

The Architect gladly accepted the request and, for seventy days worked intensively on the project, as he himself said in interviews to the press and the Brazilian television. In September 2000 in Rio de Janeiro, Niemeyer has delivered to Domenico De Masi, the "concept" consisting of a plastic and in some photos of the auditorium, accompanied by a design and dedication.