Hotel Marmorata, Ravello ****
Like many hotels along the beautiful Amalfi coast, the elegant Hotel Marmorata (in a quiet spot 800 metres from Minori and a five-minute drive from Amalfi) is on the side of a cliff with breathtaking views over the sea. View hotel
Double rooms from €0
Hotel Palumbo, near Salerno *****
Hgh on a hillside on the Amalfi Coast, a stunning 5-star hotel. Hotel Palumbo has been created in Ravello's 12th century Palazzo Confalone. From ahotelinitaly.com. View hotel
Double rooms from €130
Hotel Parsifal, Ravello ***
This charming family-run hotel in Ravello is a great place to stay if you want to both relax and explore. The two-star Hotel Parsifal overlooks the beautiful Amalfi Coast and has a beautiful terrace and garden where you can admire the panoramic views. View hotel
Double rooms from €75
Andre Gide wrote that, in Ravello, one was 'closer to the sky than the seashore'. Indeed, if not recommended for acrophobics, Ravello will delight the rest of us. Hard to believe now, but this little hilltop village, suspended 335 metres above the Mediterranean below, was once an independent republic. Later still it was an important strategic outpost of another pocket state, Amalfi, just down the coast. Beautiful Ravello sprawls across the peak of one of the coastal mountains which fringe the southern face of the Sorrentine Peninsula.
Gide was just one of many writers and artists inspired by the giddy beauty of Ravello. DH Lawrence, who reeled breathless through Italy, his blood heated by the contrast with his native Nottinghamshire, wrote much of Lady Chatterley's Lover here. Wager set part of his opera Parsifal in Ravello. John Huston filmed Beat the Devil here (after seeing the place why wouldn't you want to shoot in Ravello). And, until his recent return to the United States, writer Gore Vidal made Ravello his home. MC Escher, Sara Teasdale and Virginia Woolf were also entranced by the place.
Northern Europeans and Americans continue to visit if not flock - there is something impossibly romantic about Ravello. Sights you must see include the Duomo (cathedral) from the eleventh century and sitting on the main Piazza Vescovado; the crypt has the town museum (museo). The Villa Cimbrone has lovely formal gardens, while the Villa Rufolo (mentioned in the Decameron by Boccaccio) has a very good series of chamber concerts each year from March to October. See too the Church of San Giovanni del Toro, from earlier than the year 1000. Good places to eat include the restaurant at the Garden hotel, the Palazzo della Marra in Via della Marra, and the Cumpa Cosimo at Via Roma.