Situated in the mountains of the Amalfi Coast high above the sea, the little town of Ravello is one of the coastline’s gems. And once you’ve seen the views it’s easy to understand why. Some of the most iconic views are from the Villa Rufolo, a historic villa with beautiful gardens that perfectly frame a stunning panorama overlooking the Bay of Salerno and the coastline. Here’s why you’ll want to visit the Villa Rufolo while you’re in Ravello!
Located right off of Ravello’s main piazza, the entrance to the Villa Rufolo is marked by an impressive tower. Once the home of the wealthy Rufolo family, the property has origins back to the 13th century. While there have been plenty of architectural changes over the years, especially in the 1800s, there are still many elements from the Middle Ages that highlight the unique Arab influenced architectural style of the Amalfi Coast. This is especially evident in the beautiful cloister with its intricate design and ornate arches.
The soaring 13th-century Torre Maggiore, pictured below, has recently opened to the public as the Torre-Museo, a museum with a rooftop platform that offers incredible views. Inside, a multimedia installation walks visitors through the history of the Villa Rufolo while you climb to the top. Along the way you’ll meet the first Rufolo family members who called this beautiful villa home, along with its later owner Sir Francis Nevile Reid, who bought the villa in 1851 and is largely responsible for saving much of it and creating the stunning gardens.
The new Torre-Museo is a great way to discover the centuries of history … and the view from the top is definitely worth the climb! You can look down on the gardens of the Villa Rufolo as well as enjoy a 360 degree view of Ravello and the beautiful Amalfi coastline.
After visiting the Torre-Museo, plan to spend some time leisurely exploring the terraced gardens. Around every corner you’ll find another hidden spot or breathtaking view. These are the enchanting gardens that once inspired Richard Wagner to create the magical gardens of Klingsor in his opera Parsifal. This place of artistic inspiration is very fittingly the home of the Ravello Festival, an annual music, dance, theater and performing arts festival with shows that take place on a specially constructed stage with the Amalfi Coast as a backdrop. If you’re in Ravello from June to September, be sure to book tickets to a show at the Ravello Festival!
You can find out more about the Villa Rufolo and information about tickets, opening hours and the Torre-Museo here: www.villarufolo.com.