I’ve recently returned from a trip to Italy hosted by the Palazzo Avino. We spent 4-nights in Ravello, Italy using the Palazzo Avino as our home base for exploring all over the Amalfi Coast. It was a blast!
Ravello, itself, deserves 4-nights all on its own. I was impressed by the amount of things to see/do in this little hillside village. My top-5 activities in Ravello are:
- Support the Local Economy! Personally, I found the shopping in Positano and Amalfi pretty disappointing and Sorrento was just ok. All of these towns were full of shops selling touristy items and very few of their wares were made in Italy, let alone the Amalfi coast. In Contrast, Ravello’s shops were owned and staffed by the local artists and craftsmen who were warm and friendly and more than willing to share stories about their art. I truly enjoyed my time wandering in and out of the shops (all within easy walking distance from the hotel) and meeting the local artisans and business owners!
- Walking Around Town and visiting the gardens: Ravello is a very walkable area (as long as you are comfortable with a few stairs) and I could spend a whole day just wandering around town visiting the Terrace of Infinity at Villa Cimbrone, The Sculpture Garden at Villa Rufolo, or having a coffee at one of the outdoor cafes in the town square.
- Learn to Cook Great Italian Food! There are two great cooking schools in Ravello. Nona Orsula is the more rustic and affordable option and it has the feel of an authentic Italian kitchen. Mamma Agata is still very authentic, but a bit more polished with oodles of celebrity power. They sell recipe books and have been featured on TV shows. Mama Agata and Chiara working together are a powerhouse! This is one experience that should not be missed!
- Taste Wine From 500 Year Old Vines: I had one of the best experiences of the trip while on our wine tasting excursion. The Tenuta San Francesco Vineyard is a must see! This family run vineyard is home to grapevines that are 500 years old, and the family is so warm and inviting. They only hosts small groups so you will either be on your own or with 2-3 other couples and you will enjoy lots of personal time with the wine-maker. After a tour of the vineyard and the cellars, everyone will sit down to a homemade meal – great wine, great food, great company… what more can you ask for?!
- Lounge Around the Palazzo Avino Beach Club: The Palazzo Avino is the only hotel that can offer you the best of both worlds; an amazing hilltop view of the coast AND direct access to the ocean. Take a quick shuttle ride from the hotel down to the sea and find yourself in a private oceanside paradise. The Palazzo Avino Ocean Club features swimming platforms into the ocean, snorkeling and kayaking, a beautiful lawn for sun bathing, a pool, a bar, and a full-service restaurant specializing in Neapolitan pizza.
Bonus Activities: If you’re athletic and adventurous, don’t miss the chance to hike the Path of the Gods. Foodies will find themselves in a wonderland and must go Limoncello and olive oil tasting. The Amalfi Coast is famous for their ceramics and travelers interested in learning about the history of the industry can visit the ceramics factory for a tour. Fans of the arts will enjoy the annual music festival and the year-round calendar of live music performances. Car enthusiasts will enjoy a scenic driving tour of the coast in an Alpha Romeo Spider … There really is something for everyone here!
By the way, the Palazzo Avino is a Virtuoso hotel offering my clients the following amenities:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests, served in restaurant or via rooom service
- $100 USD Spa Services credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Free access to the hotel SPA every day during the stay, including: hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam bath, aromathic showers (15 EUR value per person, per day)
- Complimentary high speed internet access for duration of stay
- A complimentary departure gift
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
Not only does Ravello have so much to offer visitors nearby, but it makes an excellent home-base for touring the Amalfi Coast. The town center of Amalfi is a short drive away and is close enough to visit just for dinner; I loved my meal at the Santa Caterina! Amalfi itself is worth a trip in daylight for a half day of walking around, shopping, and enjoying the waterfront. Catch the ferry in Amalfi and head over to Capri for the day! Positano is approximately 45 minutes away and Naples/Sorrento are a little over an hour away. I enjoyed walking around the Sorrento town center where you can see many Dali statues, enjoy some Gelato, and do a little shopping. You could also easily see Pompeii on a day excursion, something that I highly recommend.
You can see all of the pictures from my stay in Ravello here.
I am enamored with the Amalfi Coast, especially Ravello, and I think it is a place that everyone should see at least once. Contact me if you are ready to check it off your bucket list!