For a local experience in Italy, choose Ravello
I just feel like everyone tries to do something different, but you always wind up doing the same damn thing.” Leonardo Di Caprio, The Beach.
We all search for a certain somewhere in life that makes us feel a particular way. It can be a small stream on a quiet hillside, a cool breeze at an empty beach or maybe a wondrous moment in an old cathedral. Europe is overflowing with the type of hidden charm which brings about these potential encounters but in a world where everyone seems to be searching for the same experiences, they can often prove elusive and near impossible to find. In a similar sense, thousands of visitors arrive each year in Italy’s tourist destinations hoping to find the ultimate local experience, except they often end up leaving with little more than a postcard of Rome and memories of an especially good pizza.
Thing is, we are all guilty of expecting certain outcomes in unlikely places and when it comes to visiting Italy, this is unfortunately the case with many tourists. If you want historical monuments, then yes – Rome, Venice or Florence are truly fascinating places to visit, but if you seek an authentic local experience in Italy, it is rarely in the cities you will find it, for these are still major urban areas consumed by business, politics, stopped traffic and fast living. Hence, the local experience is sometimes lost on visitors who never quite get around to finding a certain part of Italy which will offer them the encounter they were hoping for.
Introducing Ravello on the Amalfi Coast
Nestled in the very south of Italy on the Sorrentine Peninsula, the Amalfi coast may have a reputation to match the major cities but it still offers a truly local experience to the traveler and nowhere is this more the case, than with the charming town of Ravello. Quiet and largely unassuming, few places on the Mediterranean coastline can offer the same variety of appeal as Ravello, a town where you can find ancient churches next to stunning ocean views and local anti pasti on sleepy narrow streets. Away from the noise and high up on a cliffside, standing in the luscious gardens of Villa Rufolo with an endless expanse of water stretching for the horizon is simply unforgettable, as too is your first sight of Duomo Cathedral and the enchanting Town Square.
In fact, the above mentioned Rufolo and nearby Villa Cimbrone are important to the town in that they act as sentry points and offer unrivalled panoramas in the process, while the cathedral below is central to the towns charming appearance as it stretches outward with colorful facades. When you finish tasting a cup of fine afternoon coffee or maybe some locally produced wine, the cobblestone streets are an appealing place to be, for it is here you will find the most intricate pottery in local craft shops and ancient archways opening into medieval alleyways. But then just about anywhere in Ravello is an appealing place to be as rugged cliffs, stunning architecture and romantic views are synonymous with every part of this town. Steeped in history and overflowing with culture, an enchanting atmosphere seems to encompass Ravello as you walk and offers a unique insight into a more primitive part of Italy, unspoiled and untouched despite the sprawling civilizations not too far away.
Another highlight of Ravello is the food, for where else would you prefer to enjoy the best Italian cuisine than in a small town on the Amalfi Coast? Fresh produce is guaranteed in these parts and when you experience the flavors, texture and mouthwatering taste of spaghetti with clams, you will understand exactly why such a prestigious reputation surrounds Italian cuisine. Cumpa’ Cosimo for home-cooked favorites, the Garden Restaurant for food with a view, Da Nino for pizza and Al Ristoro del Moro for something more refined – the variety of eateries for such a small town is staggering and the standard is up there with the best anywhere on the coast.
And then of course you have the nearby attractions and natural surroundings, for Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii are a short road trip away and the winding hillsides in between offer an escape from civilization entirely. Yes, as much as the town itself has to offer, the coastal scenery on either side of Ravello is largely responsible for its appealing nature, where green rolling hillsides are perched upon imposing jagged cliffs and the tarmac running alongside offers a unique road trip adventure to the traveler.
Choose an authentic local experience, choose Ravello
Italy is one of the true highlights of Europe, a country with an endless number of intriguing destinations and ample attractions, from gondola rides in Venice to walking tours of the Vatican. However, the cities and towering historical monuments are but one side of the country waiting to be explored and if you seek a genuinely local experience, it’s most likely you will need to leave the bright lights behind in search of an authentic small town, such as Ravello on the Amalfi Coast. Delightful foods and fine wine, ocean views and cobblestone streets, colorful facades and luscious gardens, rugged cliffs and soaring views. Few places in the world will appear as scenic or visually alluring as this part of the Amalfi Coast in Italy, while even fewer small towns can offer the authentic experience and variety of attractions as Ravello.
Enchanting and alluring in every way, you can find small piece of heaven in the quaint town of Ravello and a memory which is sure to transcend all the traffic, noise, postcards an even pizza in the more populated tourist destinations of Italy. Rome, Venice, Florence and every other destination are truly fascinating places to visit but the truth is, we all search for a certain somewhere in life that makes us feel a particular way and this is exactly the kind of feeling you will find in Ravello, Italy, the most authentic and local experience on the Amalfi Coast.