Visit Ravello like a local. Here is what to do and see in one of the most beautiful villages on the Amalfi Coast.

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A charming and sophisticated destination that welcomes visitors with open arms.

Over the centuries, it has inspired musicians, artists, and filmmakers, earning a reputation as a city of music, enchanting gardens, and breathtaking views. 

Here, we are sharing seven tips to make you feel at home when travelling around this magnificent part of Italy.

Find more about what to do in Ravello like a local, according to Visit Italy.

What to do in Ravello like a local

What to do in Ravello like a local

From the Belvedere dell'Infinito, the concept of 'infinity' takes on a rather defined feature, even if it's hard to put into words. That's how the language of beauty works.

Since its foundation in the 5th century, Ravello has enchanted all sorts of travellers. It was an inspiration for William Turner, a peaceful refugee for Winston Churchill, a home for Gore Vidal, a romantic retreat for Greta Garbo.

But you don't need a renowned name to appreciate this small treasure on the Amalfi Coast.

Its gardens, those of Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo, are among the main reasons to visit Ravello. But there's also the music scene, the casual and soft old-town Mediterranean vibes, the world-class views, and the scents (and flavours) of Amalfi lemons all around. 

Here are some tips for visiting Ravello like a local and discovering one of the most fascinating places in an exceptional region.

7. What to do in Ravello like a local. Attending a concert

What to do in Ravello like a local. Attending a concert

This town has inspired artists, poets, and writers. Wagner arrived one afternoon in 1880 on the back of a mule. Parsifal found its perfect setting as the great German composer was bewitched by the place. "The Magic Garden of Klingsor is found," he declared.

Since then, Ravello has always had a special bond with music, celebrated yearly with an exceptional event in a chosen setting: the extraordinary belvedere in Villa Rufolo.

The Ravello Festival features some of the most talented international orchestras. The repertoire changes from year to year, ranging from classical to jazz.

The most anticipated and exciting concert is held at dawn. Tickets are promptly sold out within a few hours of going on sale. It's a spectacle of art and beauty.

6. Shopping in local boutiques

What to do in Ravello like a local. Shopping in local boutiques

Local shopping is among the small botteghe and boutiques of the historic center.

One of the highlights of Ravello's craftsmanship is ceramics. Shop windows are filled with colourful plates, salad bowls, and cups made with love in the workshops hidden behind them. Some artisans may even let you watch the production process, a great way to learn about the local culture and traditions. 

Ravello artigianato also includes coral and cameos. You can delve into it at the Museo del Corallo in Piazza Duomo. It shows various techniques used over the centuries to create finely carved precious jewels. The gallery boasts hundreds of items on display, including a nativity scene entirely made of coral. It's a must-visit place if you're interested in art and history.

5. Aperitivo in Piazza Vescovado

What to do in Ravello like a local. Aperitivo in Piazza Vescovado

Ravello's old town embodies everything you'd expect from a village on the Amalfi Coast: winding streets lined with small shops and churches overlooking the sea, ceramics adorned with the classic lemon pattern popping up here and there, bottles of limoncello proudly displayed, a number of ascents, descents, and stairs.

Piazza Vescovado is its true heart, the perfect corner to stop for a cocktail and a snack during the aperitivo hour. Around you, Ravello's daily life unfolds effortlessly in the shade of the Cathedral. The Episcopal Palace and some majestic maritime pines provide a backdrop to an enchanting panorama.

The cafes and restaurants opening into the square are a meeting point for residents and tourists. Once, Humphrey Bogart, Jackie Kennedy, or Gore Vidal could be found sitting at a table sipping a drink. Even today, you may still come across children riding bicycles or playing football in the wide space in front of the church, just like in an old black-and-white film.

Throughout the year, this square hosts essential local events: the Festa di San Pantalone in July, performances, exhibitions, gastronomic festivals, and the living nativity scene at Christmas. You'll always find something to capture your attention.

4. Getting Around by Ferry

What to do in Ravello like a local. Getting Around by Ferry

Taking a ferry is a great way to move around the Amalfi Coast during the summer. Departures are available from Naples, Positano, Sorrento, and Salerno. Amalfi is the closest port.

If you prefer travelling by train, reach the Salerno station, then take a bus to Amalfi. Once you arrive in the former maritime republic, change again.

Keep in mind that Amalfi is the main hub for travelling to/from Ravello using public transportation, so regardless of your destination, you'll likely need to stop here first and catch a SITA bus. 

Travelling by car? Take the A3 Napoli-Salerno highway until the Angri exit, then follow signs for the Amalfi Coast and Ravello. However, be aware that finding parking could be quite challenging during peak season.

Driving a car might result in getting stuck in traffic for a long time. It's better to rent a two-wheeler, rely on public transportation, or walk where possible and take advantage of the scenic routes winding between the mountains and the coast. Find more about this topic at point 2.

3. Taking a Beach Break

Ravello's closest beach, Spiaggia di Castiglione, sits right on the border with Atrani and boasts breathtaking scenery. Sheltered by a rocky promontory and a vibrant vegetation, it's not very large, offering both free and equipped sections. Generally, it isn't so crowded.

To reach the beach, you can either take a scenic boat ride or make the descent on foot. Keep in mind that Ravello is perched around 350 meters above sea level, so be prepared for quite a few steps to walk. 

The location is truly unique and picturesque, flanked on one side by the elegant buildings of Ravello and on the other by the silhouette of Atrani, with the Santa Maria Maddalena church and its towering bell tower standing out.

It's best to visit in the morning, as the sun leaves early, casting it in shadow by the afternoon.

2. Hiking on a scenic trail

What to do in Ravello like a local. Hiking on a scenic trail

An excellent  way to explore the neighbouring towns is by traversing its ancient narrow and steep pathways, just as the locals did in the past before the coastal road was built. 

The landscapes are spectacular and steeped in history. The most famous of them conjures up epic visions.

Atrani, Amalfi, and Minori are all seaside towns that are easy to reach. Of course, the return journey might be more challenging, but you can always opt for a bus ride back.

The walk to Amalfi takes about an hour, as does the stroll to Minori. Heading up to Scala, however, the uphill trek is more demanding. Also, you could intersect the scenic Lemon Path, fragrant like the citrus groves that give its name.

1. Eating Scialatielli

Exploring the Amalfi Coast is enchanting and exhilarating, but oh, what a workout! After all that up and down, it's time to refuel properly.

As expected, the local cuisine pays homage to the Mediterranean Sea and the many Coast specialities. Expect abundant fresh catch, of course. But also the unique anchovies of Cetara, ndunderi (handmade pasta from Minori), Amalfi lemon spaghetti, or the fancy sole nel piatto, a local lemon soufflé beloved by Nobel prize winner Salvatore Quasimodo.

As for Ravello's exclusive tradition, pasta with zucchini is mandatory during the celebrations for San Pantaleone, on July 27.

Can't decide what to eat first? Try scialatielli, a typical fresh pasta format popular on the Amalfi Coast. Its name is evocative and comes directly from the dialect: for some, it means "enjoyment" (from Neapolitan "scialare"). With every forkful, you'll discover why it's so fitting!

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