• Saturday, August 19, 2017

Vacation to Amalfi Coast

Amalfi - Ravello my Bello
August 10, 2011
By , Founder and Editor-in-Chief

A stunning and unspoiled town, Ravello captures the medieval beauty of the Amalfi Coast. A raucous guy’s trip this is not. Here it’s game on, in one of the most romantic places in the world. Perched high above the Mediterranean coast, Ravello has killer views of the Amalfi. It’s against this backdrop that you’ll wine and dine, soak up sun by the pool and fall under the spell of this ancient town.  

Plazza Sasso Pool
Beautiful places to rest your weary head are everywhere in Ravello, where you won’t go wrong at either of the top two hotels – the Palazzo Sasso or the Caruso.  It’s from this vantage point that you will soak in at your leisure the most beautiful view of the Amalfi Coast.  The Palazzo Sasso is steeped in history, and is our feature hotel for a stay in Amalfi, and certainly a gorgeous place to rest your head for an all- Ravello weekend.   The Caruso has a special place in our hearts for cranked up romance, set in the former villa of a noble family, which recently underwent a multi-million dollar restoration by the Orient Express.  The scene of Greta Garbo’s illicit affair with her real-life lover, the Caruso will inspire you to have a love affair of your own. From the restored frescos, beyond-gorgeous rooms and undoubtedly the sexiest infinity pool in the Amalfi, the table could not be more seductively set. 

A weekend in Ravello is about taking it back a notch on your frantic schedule.  You can use Ravello as a base to hit the tourist circuit in the Amalfi, but it would be a shame to miss the essence of the slowed down pace of this little town.  Starting the day out right means a leisurely breakfast that could last hours if your travel partner could so engage you over fresh pastries, local cheeses and the savory spread at the Caruso.  

Villa Cimbrone
From there, wander over to the Villa Cimbroni for a walk through the gardens, taking in the gorgeous view.  You can hike down to Amalfi from the grounds, which will be at times a challenging and isolated endeavor, but likely a welcome calorie burn to prepare you for lunch at the Palazzo Sasso on the terrace.  Their seafood linguini or simple pasta with walnuts and herbs of Amalfi with a bottle of wine make this a perfect afternoon.  When you are appropriately beveraged up, embark on the search for that perfect set of dishes, which is the ultimate souvenir.  The hand painted, and should you choose, custom made dishes are certainly not inexpensive, but will remind you every day at home of this perfect trip.  While all the towns in Amalfi have their pottery shops, for the highest quality, Ravello is the place to buy.  Our favorite shops are Ceramiche Cosmolena, Ravello Arte shop and Ceramiche d’Art Factory, where you will certainly walk away with gorgeous pieces.  Good news is they also ship worldwide.  Spend the rest of the day wandering through the town, checking out the quaint church and main square.  The shops are limited, but high quality.  Stop by Enoteca Mansi for wine to drink on your terrace during the trip, Bottega Corti for linens, Emporio Ravello for gentler on the pocket ingredients and treats and the Via dei Rufolo for chic Italian threads.  Very important note: Ship wine home from Enoteca Mansi at your own risk.  

A Panoramic ViewFor dinner that night, head to the ever popular Cumpa Cosimo, where Netti herself will take your order.  Netti is the internationally renowned Nonna, who serves up home cooking and the authentic experience you wish for .  She essentially feeds you until you can’t eat anymore, and arbitrarily charges you whatever  modest amount she sees fit.  It’s a local experience you can’t miss.    
 
For nightlife, it’s close to nil.  There’s a small wine bar next to the Hotel Palumbo where you can sip Amalfi wines with the locals.  Otherwise, the nightlife is one you make on your own, if you know what we mean.  
 
The next day, head over to cooking class at Mamma Agata’s, where you will spend the day, or half day should you choose, making dishes from the ingredients from Mamma’s garden.  Of course with food, there is wine, with their sommelier on hand to guide you through wine pairings and generally liquor you up.  
 
That night, if you can still bear to eat, have a light meal at the Villa San Michelle.  Any of their salads and fresh fish specials, or if you want to continue to splurge, pasta dishes, are all sorts of delicious.  More delicious though is the view from the terrace and the atmosphere as you enjoy a bottle of wine or two well into the night.  

Ravello Town House
For your last day, there’s really no need to leave the Caruso.  A stay is not complete without a full day of vegging out by the pool and patting yourself on the back that you’ve done well enough to be able to experience this view. The food at the Caruso is unrivaled in Ravello, where they make fresh mozzarella into art, pastas both light and rich at the same time and a vegetarian menu make pure carnivores consider going all veggie, if every meal could taste like this.  The grand finale is dessert, and wow their pastry chef is talented.  Even those who never do dessert will break their rule for the every changing creations.  And in the piano bar every night, when you hear someone who sounds like Rod Stewart belting out a tune, chances are, it is. After all, this is Ravello, my bello.