Soaring almost 1200 feet above the Tyrrhenian Sea in the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast is a town so beautiful and picturesque that it will take your breath away (the altitude helps). Ravello, Italy is simply a dream. A white-washed chapel presides over the main square. The bus stop boasts jaw-dropping views of the seas and the surrounding mountainous region. Secluded villas encourage creative thinking as they undoubtedly did for famed visitors Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, and Richard Wagner.

The historic town was a perfect refuge against invasion. It is secluded and would have been difficult to reach before the main roadway was installed. Its lofty perch would have provided unobstructed views of the sea for its sentinels so they could warn against possible maritime attacks.

Today, visitors can wander narrow lanes and visit bougainvillea-draped shops. There are plenty of things to do in Ravello. Visit a villa or two. Check out the main cathedral. Enjoy lunch on a terrace overlooking a sea of azure blue. Taste limoncello, take in the talent at an art gallery, select an Amalfi Coast-made piece of ceramic, or just marvel at lemons as big as your head. Ravello is definitely worth a visit when you visit the Amalfi Coast.

I highly recommend taking the public bus to add an element of adventure to your Ravello. The Sitabus stops right in the center of Ravello just a few minutes-walk from the center of town, the Villa Rufolo, the main church, and hiking paths. On the way up the mountain, our bus had to back up on the narrow road. It was quite a thrill to back up on a cliff. The bus gets quite crowded though, so if you’re not a fan of crowds you may want to pay more and go on the hop-on/hop-off bus or get a private driver. Tickets can be purchased at a kiosk, a tabacchi, or a tourist information center. When waiting for the bus at the stop, don’t be shy—get right up to the curb, because when the bus pulls up and the doors open the crowd will push their way on until it is full. And no one cares if you were there waiting before them. Timidity is not rewarded when riding public transport on the Amalfi Coast.

Attractions

  • Villa Rufolo
  • Villa Cimbrone (further out from bus drop-off)
  • Shopping/dining
  • Hiking
  • Duomo di Ravello
  • Terrace by bus stop

Video clip I shot from terrace by bus stop:

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