We started our 2-week Amalfi Coast/Greece adventure in Ravello, and while we wish we would’ve had one more day there, we did A LOT in 24 hours. We actually did so much and had such a perfect experience, I didn’t leave feeling like we missed very much when it was time to leave the next day. Ravello is a small place atop a mountain with views for days of the Amalfi Coast water. It’s relaxing and the food is fabulous. It ended up being the perfect start to our trip, as we got to relax off some of the jetlag. I recommend it as a starting place if you’re hopping the Amalfi Coast, as it’s more serene with less chaos than the other popular beach towns. Rather than list my food recs the way I normally do, I’m going to break this one down for you in sequence, so you get the idea of how you can actually do this lovely place in 24 hours. Here we go!
10:30am – Land in Naples. Apparently you can train and bus all over the Amalfi Coast, but Ravello is right at one hour’s drive, so we opted to go by car. Our hotel had a car service that made it easy peasy. We simply landed, found our driver, and were in the car in no time.
12:00pm – Check into hotel. Ok, guys… Ravello is full of fancy, fabulous hotel options. Here’s my advice: spluge on this one. It’s important to have a hotel here with 1) views and 2) a pool because that’s pretty much all you’re going to do here as the water is way down the winding mountain. We visited all of the top hotels (you can have lunch, dinner, and drinks at all of them) and I think the hotel we stayed at, Villa Cimbrone, was best for a quick experience. Why? One of the top attractions in Ravello is the Villa Cimbrone Gardens – they’re beautiful and the views you get from here are the best in Ravello. The gardens of our hotel were PACKED full during the day so we decided to wait until the next morning to visit. Here’s the kicker and why our hotel was the absolute best: We woke up early and explored the gardens before they were even open. We got to walk around the place like we owned it, and because no one else was there, we got the BEST pictures you could ever get of the famous head sculptures. These statues over the coast are iconic and we got to be all alone with them. Had we not stayed here, we would’ve been elbowing left and right to just get one picture without someone in it. Just look at these pictures – this is THE place to stay if you want a private experience of the gardens.
1:00pm – Lunch. We’d heard how amazing Belmond Hotel Caruso was as we had friends who stayed there, so it only made sense to pay this hotel a visit. It’s extra fancy and really spectacular, and their restaurant Belvedere was exquisite and the perfect first Italian meal overlooking the water. Their wood-fired pizzas are life and the marinated anchovies were lovely. If you go here to eat, walk around the hotel grounds. They’re gorgeous and the infinity pool gets the “best pool in Ravello” award.
3:00pm – Relax at the pool. I adored our hotel’s pool and after a long day of travel, we couldn’t wait to take a dip and lounge with a bottle of wine. We planned a nap but enjoyed ourselves too much to actually take one. The pool at Villa Cimbrone is beyond dreamy – it’s like being in a cozy, quiet garden oasis. I love a pool surrounded by greenery and flowers, and that’s just what this was. It was the perfect afternoon for tired travelers.
7:00pm – Sunset snacks and drinks. Also having the reputation of one of the best hotels in Ravello, we decided to go to Palazzo Avino for sunset, and I can’t imagine having gone anywhere else for it. This is THE place to watch the sunset in Ravello. Their terrace is something you only see in dreams. I would go on describing it, but I will leave you with the photos. Our cocktails came with the best Castelvetrano olives I’ve ever had in life and a sampler platter of savory goodies. We saw a lot of sunsets on this trip – pretty much 2 weeks of the most perfect sunsets every evening and this particular setting was one of the most memorable.
9:30pm – Dinner. I’ll be honest, all the beautiful pictures I saw of Ravello and they weren’t what made me want to visit. Truthfully, what brought us to Ravello was Trattoria da Cumpa'Cosimo for dinner. I remember telling Tres, I really just want to go to Ravello to eat at this restaurant because I keep reading it’s stellar, perfect Italian food. It was just that, but the experience made it even better. Our waiter pretty much ordered for us – bringing us the appetizer sampler to start, the pasta sampler, and limoncello to finish. I mean… pasta sampler? Could you ask for more?! He did everything for us from the wine choice to the order and it was casual, delicious fun!
12:00am – Sleep. Finally sleep.
7:00am – Walk the Villa Cimbrone Gardens. I think I already elaborated on this enough above, but I will say it again. There was nothing like having these typical crowded gardens and views all to ourselves. We watched the sunrise and took about 2,000 pictures because I promise if you come here, you wont be able to stop taking pictures. It was worth getting up early! *There’s only one downside to this experience. There IS a (secret) bar right below the views, down a set of stairs from the statues. I wouldn’t have minded having a cocktail here, but it wasn’t open at 7:00am.
9:00am – Breakfast on the hotel’s drop dead gorgeous terrace. I am not a breakfast person and usually don’t mind skipping it – I save every bit of room in my belly for lunch and dinner – but the breakfast here was relaxing, lovely, and delicious. A great sendoff.
11:00am – Get in the hotel car and head to Il Pirata in Praiano for lunch. I have to mention this too about our hotel. We had lunch reservations at Il Pirata – it was one of the first things I booked for the entire trip. We weren’t staying in Praiano, we were actually headed to Positano, but I was determined to eat at this restaurant. So the hotel recommended dropping us off in Praiano and drove to Positano to drop our bags off. And thank the good Lord they did. Because to get to the restaurant, one must hike down the bottom part of a mountain. I had no idea, and thanks to our hotel, we weren’t dragging our bags down the side of a cliff. Whew! Bullet dodged.
Truly a dream, Ravello is a must-visit if you take a trip to the Amalifi Coast. But just know, you CAN actually do this little city in a day - however, I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to stay longer. The little town area is adorable, and had we more time, we would’ve spent a day tooling around all the outdoor patios and beautiful restaurants. But if you do it in 24 hours, I’m telling you, THIS is your perfect guide!