Destination Inspiration: Ravello, Campania, Italy
With its sorbet-pink sunsets, pastel-hued villas, storied hotels and legendary restaurants, Amalfi’s Ravello is the pinnacle of the Italian dream, making it a must-visit for those seeking a go-slow, glamorous getaway.
18 July, 2022
Ravello, Campania, Italy.
Set on a steep hill, this traditional Italian town sees clusters of piazzas, crumbling towers and narrow passageways form a vibrant patchwork, all overlooking postcard-worthy views of the glittering Tyrrhenian Sea.
Originally a hotspot for trading, thanks to its wool production, Ravello remains steeped in history. Exploring on foot will allow you to roam between the sun-scorched streets, stopping at the cathedral, Duomo di Ravello, Villa Rufolo, which traces its roots back to the 13th century, and the former residence of Gore Vidal, La Rondinaia, before rewarding yourself with an extra-large scoop from Baffone Gelateria Artigianale. Spend days strolling between independent boutiques, sailing the vivid turquoise waters and discovering centuries-old traditions upheld by proud locals.
While it requires a 40-minute drive, a visit to Pompeii is essential. The ancient city, which was buried beneath volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted some 2,000 years ago, stands as a core pillar in southern Italy's history. As tempting as it might be to tour the grounds solo, we suggest booking onto one of the archaeologist-guided walking tours, which will allow you to discover a deeper meaning behind the ruins.
Where to stay?
Stay at Ravello Art Hotel Marmorata. Carved into the cliff face, the building - once an ancient paper mill - is suffused with sea air. All 38 rooms and four suites flaunt sweeping views of the sparkling ocean, with interiors carrying a nautical design: think sailor-blue linens, walnut-wood furnishings and porthole-shaped windows. While the infinity pool is certainly worthy of a paddle, you'll find us diving from the wooden decking straight into the sea. Spend your day soaking up the summer heat from one of the ecru loungers, before crawling upstairs to the in-house L'Antica Cartiera restaurant, which draws crowds for its squid.
Where to go for dinner?
Skip down to Osteria Ravello. Serving up old-school charm with a contemporary twist, the restaurant's al fresco terrace sports enormous parasols and flowering hedges, and offers front-row seats for those legendary sunsets. Order a glass of pinot while you work through the basket of warm breads, then feast on pizza frittata, seafood linguine and tiramisu.
And for a drink…
There's no place that does it quite like Luigi's Bar, whose traditional stone courtyard is framed by an apricot-coloured building. Renowned for serving the best limoncello in town, the stripped-back set-up is the very essence of la dolce vita. Visit on a Friday night to join flocks of locals dancing and singing.
Who to take with you?
There's an air of romance that trickles through every inch of this town. From its gelato parlours to the cliff-backed bays, we can think of no better place to spend a week with our main squeeze.
Essentials to pack
Make memories last forever by packing the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Polaroid camera. Armed with a built-in selfie lens and with automatic exposure, you're guaranteed the perfect collection of snaps.
How to get there
Take a direct flight from London Gatwick to Naples Airport, from where Ravello is just an hour's drive away. Alternatively, you can take a train from Naples Central Station to Sorrento, before hopping on a catamaran to Amalfi.