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Ravello & Sorrento

Adorable Chick

Italy, Greece & Montenegro diary : Day 19 - 20th May 2018

Italy is a country rich in coastal side villages and towns. If Cinque terra is a combination of five, humble fishing villages decorating the Ligurian sea, the south west coast is rich with a bunch of aristocratic, colourful towns & villages that lie hugging the green mountainous sides and gradually slide down towards the Tyrrhenian Sea.

When in Naples, one must not miss visiting these places. For a relaxed visit it is suggested that you spend a couple of days in each of these villages/towns. That is the case with every place on earth isn’t it ? There is more to explore and it is always a race against time. We had only four days in Naples and so decided to make a day trip covering the coastline. We hired a car to drive us for the entire day. The in-expensive package consisted of being driven in a comfortable AC vehicle to Vesuvius and Pompeii the first day and visit to the beautiful sea side towns / villages on day two (excluding entry fees wherever applicable).

Another, fortunately, sunny day that helped us perfectly tour the most beautiful parts of South-West Italy- The towns / villages of Sorrento, Ravello, Amalfi and Positano. The private taxi tour did it all and we covered maximum possible this day. We headed off to Sorrento from Naples. You can read about Sorrento at the end of this page. Next came Ravello. Crossing the beautiful mountainous sides and dark green hilly terrain, we reached our destination in about an hour or so.

The hilly, resort town of Ravello sits on an elevation, hugging a mountain side that faces the Tyrrhenian Sea. It boasts of splendid views throughout the year and finds itself on top of the charts amongst tourists. The laid back town is most famous for the RAVELLO FESTIVAL. History narrates how the town came into being somewhere in the 5th century, while it played the perfectly hidden shelter against the barbarian invasion. It later turned into a significant port when trade flourished. Many artists, writers and musicians found this place to be their hub of inspiration. The amazingly green gardens and terraces overlooking the deep blue sea make it a perfect base for relaxation. The sights of colourful houses peeking through the mountains makes it truly Italian.

Tidy Desk

Winding past the mountainous terrain, ogling at the incomparable sea views , smitten by the greenery around and blessed with a bright sunny day, we were happy to reach our second destination of the day as per schedule. We were dropped off near the entrance of a tunnel, which we were told was the entrance to the town centre. This was the parking lot. No vehicles are allowed beyond this point. The first of the aerial views where from a Garden restaurant. We posed by the arched window to our heart's content. We sat on a few benches nearby to savour the views of the sea. Though it felt as if we were right in the middle of a road, there was enough peace and calm and absolutely no noise of traffic whatsoever.

After a while, we made our way through the tunnel to get to the centre. The sign boards of RAVELLO FESTIVAL could be spotted in more than one place. This yearly festival came into existence during the early 1950s to promote more tourism and create revenue for a somewhat dying economy at that time. Although, originally the purpose of this festival was to celebrate MUSIC, it gradually turned into a two month long programme that now encourages not only variety music , but also discussions, exhibitions and is a meeting ground for various artists from all across the globe.

Sitting atop a hill, overlooking the Amalfi coast, the town has achieved status of a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE. The entire town of Ravello is small enough to be explored on foot. Nevertheless it boasts of a few good restaurants, bars and churches. We were highly impressed by the small town centre. Open markets, flower arrangements, restaurants, colourful knick knacks, a stall selling variety balloons welcomed us with open arms. The sky was bright and hot enough for a few ice creams and gelatos. The market square was a bit crowded but lively. The edges of the square was a open terrace displaying the colourful buildings peeking out of the green mountain side in step down fashion.

We walked around a bit and sat in one of the restaurants enjoying a few eats and our gelato. The next was a visit to the cathedral in the square.