Situated on the cliff-top of the Amalfi Coast, Ravello is a very important historical and cultural center. Among the various places of outstanding interest are: Villa Rufolo, Villa Cimbrone and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Famous classical music concerts are held on a stage perched over the sea from July through October. For more information and the calendar of concert and other festival events, visit the following websites:
Amalfi & Positano
Amalfi is a picturesque coastal town with a sunny climate and exceptional natural beauty. In the 12th century, Amalfi was one of the four great Italian maritime republics. Positano is regarded as the jewel of the Amalfi coast. It's a very coastal resort, It's notable for its picturesque, precipitous townscape, built on steep mountain terraces and, in places, almost literally clinging to the rocks. It affords unparalleled views out porto the islands of Li Galli, which were famously inhabited by the legendary Sirens, and beyond to the Isle of Capri.
The romantic Isle of Capri was once the unlikely centre of the 'civilised' world when Tiberius ruled the Roman Empire from his 12 palaces built on its towering heights looking over the sea towards the old Port of Naples. The sublime beauty of the seascapes; its fabled 'Blue Grotto' and rocky shore of coves & beaches; its tangible atmosphere of 3,000 years of history & cosmopolitan cultures, and the traditional warm hospitality of the islanders have combined to draw an endless stream of visitors. There is hardly a writer or artist of note over the last 200 years who has not been enchanted by the unique allure of Capri. Today, its 'capital' town, hardly more than a village, is somewhat like a stage set for an 18th century operetta - a painted pastiche of small, lively squares; boutique shops & pastel or white-washed houses, and a warren of mysterious Moorish alleyways no wider than a donkey cart loaded with the rough coral building blocks that over the centuries have fashioned a townscape of extraordinary artistry.
Pompeii & Ercolanum
This is the world famous Campanian town of imperial Roman times that was buried by a sudden, catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius on the 24th of August 79 AD. It has been extensively excavated over the last two centuries so that much of the original town has now been exposed. The most fascinating aspect of Pompeii is that it offers a walk back into time, back 2000 years, recreating the daily life of ordinary Romans. Visitors can stroll along the lava-paved roads past rows of shops and private houses, public baths, market squares and temples. Pompeii is indisputably one of the world's most mesmerizing architectural and cultural treasures. Just at a few kilometres from Pompeii is the town of Ercolanu (Herculaneum), also buried in the volcanic cataclysm of 79 AD. It's smaller than Pompeii, but in some ways is better preserved and can be more easily taken in on a day visit. Driving time from Ravello: approximately 1 hour.
This is an original landing ground and settlement of the ancient Greeks, founded around 600 BC Its name derives from Poseidon - God of the Sea, to whom the town was dedicated. Paestum is set in a vast and varied landscape and offers an almost mystic or spiritual experience to visitors taking time to sit and meditate in a quiet corner of a temple to the Greek immortals, one of the most historic monuments in Southern Italy. In the vicinity is the town of Velia and the provincial capital of Salerno, with a medieval cathedral, dating back to 1085, renowned for its great bronze door from Constantinople and a 12th century carved pulpit. Driving time from Ravello: approximately 2 hours.
The city is known as 'The Versailles of Naples' and is home to the Royal Palace built by the Bourbon-French Emperor, Charles III. The palace is one of the biggest neo-Classical buildings in Europe and its park setting is both immense and fascinating. Driving time from Ravello: approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Naples is the capital city of the region of Campania. It has been invaded and occupied over the centuries by a succession of alien nations and cultures, including the French, Germans and Turks. But it was more the Spanish than the rest who have had the most significant influence on the City's architecture, language, customs and way of life. Naples has one of the most important archeological collections in the world housed in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, a great treasure trove of ancient artefacts from Pompeii, Ercolano and other historical sites. The modern city itself is full of great churches and other impressive buildings, notably the Gesu' Nuovo Cathedral, the Royal Palace in Piazza Plebiscito, and the Capodimonte Gallery with its paintings by Renaissance masters such as Titian, Raphael and Van Dyke. Driving time approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.