Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Amalfi Coast Travel Diary: Part 2 - Ravello

If anyone is interested, I have been told that the restaurant and the hotel is absolutely impeccable. We didn't manage to check them out but you can check out the reviews on TripAdvisor here.

Welcome to Part 2 of my Southern Italy travel journal. I love planning my journeys so that I experience everything I want to and make the most of every adventure I do but what is even better sometimes is to go unplanned and stumble upon an amazing destination by accident. Don't get me wrong, planning often reduces the FOMO (fear of missing out) because you feel like you've organised all your plans around the activities that you definitely want to do but travelling, exploring, having an adventure and stumbling upon places you would never have originally found are my favourite kind of days. We wandered to Ravello, a small (only just bigger than Scala itself), colourful town near to Scala on the hill up from Amalfi. There was a little local market there so I was instantly in love, I really can't help but love any market I come across. Unfortunately, it was getting past 1 and so the market was shutting up but there was still a couple of stalls up and running such as the stall that sold olives (some of the best olives I've ever tasted) and other snacky goods, 2 fruit stalls and a beauty stall. I wish I had managed to get there earlier when the market was in full swing and bustling with locals but it was great either way and I visited so many other market stalls whilst on this holiday that I wasn't too upset. 

Summarising Ravello

Population: 2,500 inhabitants
Atmosphere: Lush, Beautiful, bright 

After that, we headed to the main centre of Ravello. The first thing we came across was the main square that had a terrace type feel with a view to die for. It had a beautiful plain white cathedral surrounded by stunning flowers of every colour. Other than the church, there was a few restaurants and cafes and shops etc, the usual. 

We spent around an hour wandering around this little town. It was so easy to lose track of time because there was so many beautiful side streets, if you can call them that, they were little stone paths off the main street with beautiful arches and colourful, inviting flowers that sometimes lead to other streets or on one occasion, just the entrance to a single restaurant (we weren't hungry then, so we didn't try that particular restaurant out, unfortunately) which I imagine has an amazing view, talk about capturing an audience. 

At the end of a road, we found the entrance to a garden in Villa Cimbrone, which looked absolutely stunning and much more inviting than a previous garden that we had stumbled across. We spent only €7 on getting in and it was so worth it! The first thing we saw was a big castle type thing with a turret and covered in beautiful ivy. The first bit of the garden we went to was enclosed by a small wall of flowers and similar flowers were within the massive field of grass, and the view was to die for, as always on the beautiful Amalfi coast. After taking a couple of photos we strolled along, following the map given to us at the entrance, to the 'Balcony of Infinity'... ok we thought the first view was nice... in comparison, the first view was NOTHING. The landscape from the 'Balcony of Infinity' was the most immaculate view I've ever seen in my whole life and I've seen some pretty amazing views before. The balcony allowed you to see basically everything possible including all the beautiful boats anchored up on the forever changing turquoise, teal and deep bluey, green sea, the whole town of Magiori (where we later sunbathed) and all the magnificent white cliff faces surrounding the nearby towns. We all soaked up the view, which you can see below (the pictures can't capture the beauty of the eye). Once we left the balcony, we wandered around and found a lovely little place where you can eat a tasty ice-cream (I had 'nocciola' of course - my favourite) and a drink, where we sat on their miniature terrace, over looking the sea. 

After, we headed down a wooded path to visit all the other monuments on the map such as 'Mercury's Seat', the 'Temple of Bacchus' and 'Eve's Grotto'. On route back to the entrance, we passed the 'Statue of David' and stopped at the 'Rose Terrace' where there was an open ancient building decorated with mosaics called 'The Tea Room'. The very last thing we saw (but most people would see it first) was 'The Closter' which looked a bit like a very decorative well in the midst of a beautiful garden and below, there was a crypt, also one of the most amazing views I've seen. After the crypt, we had seen all that the garden had to offer (even though, I could probably stand and stare out at the landscape forever) and so we decided to eat lunch. I would seriously advise anyone visiting Ravello to go to this beautiful garden.  

top - M&S, skirt - Bershka, bag - Mango, shoes - Primark

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