Ravello is a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1997 and it is a marvelous place to visit. It’s cute central plaza has a beautiful views of the valley bellow.
Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo are wonderful and they can be visited for a fee. Their beautiful gardens are a delight with the colorful flowers, luscious plants, multiple statues and the marvelous view of the sea.
If no time or money ( min. 320Euro/night, up to 1,200 Euro/night) to stay in the hotel at Villa Cimbrone, one can still visit the botanical gardens for a fee (7 Euro). They are open to the public from 9 am to sunset.
Villa Rufolo is home to many concerts. This summer the Ravello Music Festival 2014 is being held between the 21st of June and the 20th of September in its spectacular gardens with a magnificent view of the sea.
The central plaza in Ravello is a nice place to enjoy the view of the valley below, the people walking by and the aromas of Italy. The narrow streets around it are pleasing to the eye, with its colorful small stores.
From Ravello to Amalfi the trip is not long, but like on most of the Amalfi Coast, the roads are so narrow that cars have to back up to give way to buses (or sometimes even to small vehicles) coming from the other direction. One not accustomed to Italian driving would certainly be better off in a bus. I wanted to close my eyes tightly shut a few times as other cars passed by just a split hair of a distance from ours.
As Ravello is high and away from the water, Amalfi is right by it. Some of the old buildings growing right out of the rock are impressive with their structure and position. It seems that their owners are the grandmother type, as doors and windows are decorated with handmade crochet white curtains, reminding of old, partially forgotten times.
In the plaza near the Cathedral of Amalfi, my new friend introduced me to the “delizie al limone“, a particular sponge cake typical to the area, filled and topped with lemon crust. The cake was a light delight, truly a pleasure for the palate. The little place we enjoyed it at was tastefully decorated with black and white pictures of old times hanging on the walls and an old cash register displayed in a glass covered wall niche. Shiny silverware was brought inside a white fabric wallet with handmade crochet at the ends, and spotless soft, fine white tablecloths covered the tables with fresh yellow roses in small vases.
The obvious next place to visit was the Cathedral. My friend did not bother to climb it’s multiple steps, as he has been here several times before. I explored the inside alone and I rejoined him afterwards, right after a heavy rain passed.
The Cathedral of Amalfi is a very impressive structure with its sumptuous early 18th century Baroque interior. In the Chapel of the Relics are preserved relics of Saints that were brought here with the body of St. Andrew, Jesus’s first disciple. St. Andrew’s “head and the other bones” are in the Crypt, which is located in the Cathedral, “in the heart” of Amalfi. I enjoyed visiting while the storm outside came and passed.
Unfortunately for me there was no more time to stroll the streets of this famous town. Maybe some other sunny day!