Beauty is everywhere you look in the 13th-century village of Ravello. Here, Fair Harbor co-founder Caroline shares her favorite places to eat, drink, and soak it all in.
Nestled above the picturesque cliffside villages on the Amalfi Coast, the ancient town of Ravello feels like a place that has stood still in time. Its narrow cobblestone streets, terraced gardens, and breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian Sea haven't changed much since my parents first visited it on their honeymoon 30 years ago. But I'm always awed by its beauty each time I venture there. Here are some of my favorite things to do in and around this charming locale.
1 - Take a tour of rufulo gardens
During the day, pass through the arches down to the square of Ravello and visit Rufolo Gardens for a stroll around its two levels. The grounds are kept in pristine condition, and include stunning views of the beautiful coastline and examples of Moorish architecture. Known as the "Garden of the Soul," this historic place that dates back to the 13th century never ceases to amaze.
2 - Have a golden hour drink at hotel caruso
Order the Negroni and listen to live piano music at this former 11th-century palace dramatically perched on a cliff overlooking the Amalfi Coast. As the sun sets over the coastline, everything seems even better with classic Italian cocktails, smooth music, and great people watching at Hotel Caruso. Arrive hungry, as they serve delicious aperitif snacks that accompany your drinks.
3 - Revel in homemade pasta at mama netta's restaurant
When we first went to Ravello over ten years ago, Mama Netta was serving dinner. And each time we've returned, Mama still serves up her fresh pasta and homemade sauces at her charmingly rustic restaurant, also known as Trattoria Pizzeria Cumpa' Cosimo. While I wouldn't necessarily go there for the "local wine," the old-world Italian charm welcomes you from the moment you set foot through her doors, as everyone feels like family. The dishes of delicious pasta are constantly flowing. You might feel as if you don't place your order quickly enough; they'll decide your order for you. But don't worry – you're guaranteed to love it. Be prepared to leave full yet still yearning for more. On that note, don't forget to order the tiramisu for dessert.
4 - Enjoy the ambiance of the town square
After dinner, stroll through the streets of Ravello until you reach the main square, Piazza Vescovado, and pick a place to grab a gelato. You can't go wrong. The atmosphere is magical at this community meeting spot, especially after dark, as the dark sky illuminates the buildings and brings the small, quaint village to life. Soak it all in on the church steps while watching little kids on scooters run around after dark and older couples reminisce over a glass of wine.
5 - take a day trip to positano
Sneak away to nearby Positano and make a reservation for lunch at Hotel San Pietro where I suggest you order the sardines, spaghetti limone, and an Aperol spritz. While the food is unbelievably delicious, it's also a feast for your senses, with panoramic terraces overlooking Positano and the coast. Reserve extra time to tour the grounds and admire the faded orange lounge chairs.