Many of Italy’s most cherished, postcard qualities seem to come to life during the summer season of arts in Ravello, a village perched atop cliffs on the Mediterranean country’s Amalfi Coast. Known by insiders and locals as the town of music, Ravello brings art to the ears of guests during the warm months of May through to September, while winter performances bookend the busier summer period. Amalfi Coast brings its unabashed charms to the party, with a natural setting of terraced vineyards and orchards, dramatic clifftop abodes and seaside hubs that still retain their salty charm despite the pressures of modern development.
World-class musicians, poets and singers of varied musical backgrounds perform across a few heritage sites. Of note is Villa Cimbrone, once a private aristocratic residence but now houses a hotel, along with Michelin-starred restaurant Il Flauto di Pan. The most famous stage site however, is the overhanging terrace in the Villa Rufolo gardens. Here, performances take place at dusk, featuring the ocean as backdrop.
Be part of an audience who knows how essential chamber music is to the soul, and enjoy a packed schedule of exceptional talent across the pop, jazz and classical music genres. When it’s time for bed, departure will most likely involve a leisurely stroll on the many lighted footpaths which connect the neighbouring seaside villages of Positano, Minori, Atrani and Amalfi.
WORDS OF WISDOM
- Plan ahead for big-name performances at the enchanting Villa Rufolo gardens. As expected, tickets sell out quickly.
- Book more than just a bed. Accommodation on the Amalfi Coast is as varied as the terrain. The famous La Sirenuse hotel in nearby Positano promises breathtaking sea views, with rooms and terraces just 70 metres above sea level. It is an oasis of calm that continues to offer the same marvels that John Steinbeck once scribed in his poetic recount of his time here on assignment with Harper’s Bazaar in 1953.
- Lunch like an Italian in Ravello. Belmond Hotel Caruso’s poolside restaurant, the Belvedere Snack Bar, is the place to go for stunning vistas while feasting on dishes of traditional southern Italian cuisine. Leave enough time for multiple courses and a few bottles of local prosecco.
- Make mealtime an adventure. Da Adolfo is a casual beach bar and restaurant tucked into a hidden cove, and accessible via a short boat ride from Positano’s main dock. The Da Adolfo boat features a bright red sign. Simply find it and hop on board. A delicious glass of Aperol spritz awaits.
Visit Ravello Festival