After a short drive along the Amalfi coast from Praiano we passed through Amalfi Town and headed up the very winding road to Ravello. It is surprising how long it takes to climb up these mountains but we finally arrived after a few stops to the Hotel Belmondo Caruso. It is famous for a number of things including its infinity pool that we wasted no time in getting into but it was the views that it was all about for us, full 360 deg in every direction.
The views up and down the coast, across the mountains and down into the valleys were all so picturesque and how the people eked a living of these cultivated terraces was amazing.
it was worthy of a real celebration of Ann’s 60th birthday in such fine surroundings.
The byzantine churches were fabulous and in need of some restoration and we were happy to assist is some small way to that endeavour.
The terrace gardens abounded and the rustic restorations were so perfectly executed it sometimes felt a little too nice but we enjoyed it all.
The Villa Rufalo was our first scenic visit as every turn has some scenic benefit but this medieval Villa and its stunning gardens houses one of The Amalfi coasts most photographed scene looking over the domes of the Annunziata church and the famous Cedar trees of Ravello.
Walking around the town was a breeze as all road lead to the Piazza where the Duomo, clock tower and all the restaurants feed off from.
Walking around the street near the Hotel revealed its rustic history and now supports no less than 6, Five star L hotels in the immediate vicinity.
It was facinating seeing how food is grown so effectively on these fertile terraces.
one of the real highlights was the visit to Villa Cimbrone and its Terrace of infinity and terraced gardens
The walk through the street along the ridge leads to a fabulous reveal as you meander along the lane under the arch and then into the entry gardens before approaching the old medievial gates.
the interior is made up of the old 11th century Villa and later additions that now house the Villa Cimbrone Hotel. but the highlight for us was the courtyard and lower cloisters/crypt.
From the Villa a terrace portico leads to the gardens with its colonnade and extensive grounds with the best views in Ravello. The terrace of infinity was the site of an old Roman villa from one of the emperors and many of the statues that were found on the site have been used to replicate the terrace in the times of the Emperors.
we stopped for a nice coffee and coke break in the gardens before exploring the grottos and crypts along the way through the garden
The gardens were designed by Lord Grimthorpe in 1904 when he purchased the Villa and gardens after falling in love with Italy on a trip.
The Villa became the haunt of the Bloomsbury gang of intellectuals in the early part of the 20th century which included Shelley, Byron, and Wilde.
Our night out for some chamber music at the Annunziata church was fantastic so we dressed in our finest and headed off at sunset to enjoy the show.
we celebrated our last night with a fabulous dinner at the Hotel Pulumbo after a disappointing experience with our booking at our hotel. so happy that happened as we had a stunning meal in an even better location with outstanding g service for half the price.