Rob and I headed to the Amalfi Coast for Rob’s 50th birthday. (I chose the trip 🙂 ). We stayed in four spots during our 8 days there. We spent two nights in Ravello, two nights in Positano, 3 nights in Capri and 1 night in Naples the eve before our flights home. Many people skip staying in Ravello and opt to visit the village as a day trip. I am thankful that we chose to spend more time in Ravello and truly come to know and love the spot.
Even though Ravello is a major tourist destination on the coast, I found it to be our most charming and the least crowded stop on our trip. We loved exploring the timeworn pathways and uneven stoned steps. There were so many lemon trees and flowers, everywhere we turned, and we were able to smell them as we meandered along. For 2 days, we ate amazing food, took in unbelievable views, explored the town and gardens, and even got lost, but got the best pictures because of this. I loved every town we stayed in (Positano and Capri too), but Ravello was special to me and my favorite one that we visited. Here are some of the highlights…
A Stay Perched High On A Cliff-In Ravello we stayed at the stunning Palazzo Avino. The property is a five-star deluxe hotel with spectacular views of the Mediterranean and fishing villages along the coast. With only 2 nights in this beautiful town, we opted to explore rather than spend too much time at the hotel. However, we couldn’t have asked for a better setting for afternoon cocktails on the terrace accompanied by delicious complimentary snacks. We also indulged each morning in the unbelievable breakfast buffet, included with our stay. As it turns out, the resort is a member of Preferred Hotels, and I earned iPrefer points on the stay. Yay! I highly recommend a stay at this resort if you plan a trip to Ravello.
Exploring the Villa Cimbrone Gardens-You pay a small fee to enter the Villa Cimbrone Gardens, but it is worth it! The gardens were just ok in my opinion (probably better in the spring). But, as Rob and I wandered along, we finally came to the terrace with incredible views of the coast. The scenery and pictures we got here were worth the visit. We did not eat in the gardens as we visited the gardens prior to our night out in Ravello.
Drink in the square-We had a pre dinner cocktail in the main square in town. There are a number of outdoor places you can choose from and each provide a great space to relax in the square and people watch. It was here that I had my first (and last) Ravello Spritz. Although it looked so pretty and appetizing to drink, it was way to sweet for me. However, it was perfect for the bees. One negative to our al fresco cocktails was the amount of bees hanging around. They seemed to like me and my drink the best. 🙂
Dinner with Mama-For our first dinner, we headed to the highly touted Cumpa Cosimo. It was our initial taste of what was to come for the next nine days….homemade thin crust pizzas, amazing pastas, fresh local fish, flavorful meats and lots and lots of wine. At each meal, Rob and I tried to do a pasta or pizza and a fish or chicken dish, although sometimes we definitely had a hard time choosing and ordered way too much.
Our first of many gelatos-Located on one of the quaint narrow streets that lead from the main square sits Baffone Gelateria Artigianale. We bypassed dessert at Cumpa Cosimo for our first taste (of many to come) of delicious, creamy gelato. So good!
Mamma Agata-Talk about a day of beauty and indulgence! The day at Mamma Agata was probably my favorite day on our trip.
From the home of Chiara (Mamma Agata’s daughter and the heart of the class) & Gennaro (her husband), perched at the edge of the sea, you spend the day in a group class for an unbelievable culinary experience. You watch the family in the kitchen gathering their farm-to-table ingredients, prepping the courses (there are so many) and learning their techniques, all while sipping wine, tasting the delights and mingling with the other guests. Mamma and her family make you feel like family from the minute you arrive. On frequent breaks, you can explore their beautiful gardens, and admire the breathtaking views. The highlight of the day is sitting down to Mamma’s lovely table for the main meal. Try to pace yourself with all the apps, you will want to enjoy this setting! Also, I wouldn’t eat breakfast and you don’t need a dinner reservation for the night. The whole experience is about six hours, from about 10 AM when you arrive, till late afternoon. I cannot recommend it enough. Thank you Hilary and Jessica for recommending it to us!
Getting Lost Walking To Amalfi-Since we did not need a full dinner after our Mamma Agata day, we decided to head to the town of Amalfi and sample the pizza at the highly recommended Pizza Express. We attempted to walk the Atrani-Amalfi route because you don’t have to go on the road at all, but instead you stay on pedestrian streets with many steps. We failed. We got lost a lot, asked many people along the way and everyone told us something different (when they spoke English) and we had a few fights. (Rob hates getting lost). BUT…look at the amazing shots we got while we were lost! When we finally made it to the bustling town of Amalfi, we hit Pizza Express and shared a personal pie (we were still so full from our day at Mamma) that was made from scratch and baked on the spot in their oven. It was hot and crusty with sweet tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. Rob and I shared it in the street, taking turns taking yummy bites. After that, we joined all of the other people walking through the clustered, bustling streets and checking out the pretty promenade along the Mediterranean. We ended our night enjoying gelato in the historic center, the Piazza del Duomo, on the steps in front of the striking cathedral. We rode back to Ravello on the town bus with some of the locals. It was a scary, exhilarating ride up the cliffs in the dark back to Ravello.
Things we unfortunately missed-I am sad that we missed the classical music concert in the gardens of the Villa Rufolo. The concert was scheduled for only one of our 2 nights there and I did not get the tickets in advance. When we arrived, the concert was sold out and even the concierge at the hotel couldn’t help us. We walked by the entrance, which is right off the main square, and it looked like an unbelievable setting. Needless to say, I was really bummed. Next time! Don’t be like me. You can make reservations at ravellofestival.com or contact your concierge before you arrive.
Arrivederci beautiful Ravello-Upon our departure, we had a driver take just our luggage to Positano while Rob and I took a taxi to Bomerano to start the hike to Positano known as the Path of the Gods. You can read about that hike and amazing stay in Positano here.