Ravello – Villa Cimbrone

Hi friends, welcome back to my Italy series! On our first full day in Positano, we planned to take the ferry to see the gorgeous villas in Ravello. We headed to the port only to find out our planned ferry had been cancelled. We ran up all the stairs to try to catch the bus to Amalfi, but we couldn’t find the store that sells bus tickets in time. After catching our breath, Jon and I headed back down and were able to get on the first ferry that was leaving for the day. (I used Ferryhopper to book our tickets and they had great customer service. They were able to issue refunds easily for all our cancelled ferries through a quick email) Once on the boat, we were able to relax and enjoy the beautiful views of the Amalfi Coast for the next 25 minutes.

Ravello is located on top of the cliff and only reachable by car or bus. We had planned on taking a bus up to Ravello, but when we went to buy tickets, the agent said no buses were going up to Ravello. We thought that was odd, but we were determined to get up to Ravello so we jumped in a group taxi that was 20 euros a person and made the ascent. It wasn’t until we were heading back down that we learned the road was closed to buses due to a fatal accident. Sadly, about two weeks earlier a coach bus’s brakes malfunctioned and the driver went through the barrier and off the cliff on one of the hairpin turns. He had just dropped off thirty-two tourists in Ravello, so it could’ve been even more tragic. We were already nervous about the buses because the roads are narrow and windy, so hearing about this made us even more wary.

After making it up to Ravello, we started our ten minute walk towards Villa Cimbrone. Ravello is a car-free town so I loved wandering the charming and beautiful streets. It seemed especially quiet without all the tour busses dropping off the influx of tourists.

Villa Cimbrone dates back to the eleventh century but underwent an extensive renovation in the 1900s. The villa was converted into a luxurious and pricey nineteen room hotel with a few restaurants including a Michelin star one. Luckily you don’t have to be a guest to wander through the Villa’s expansive and beautifully manicured gardens. They are open to the public for 10 euros.

The Terrace of Infinity is what this garden is most known for, and even on an overcast day it was still stunning!

I couldn’t find much information about the garden so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Throughout the garden there are statues to discover and smaller gardens to wander through.

It’s hard not to feel relaxed in such a serene garden.

After exploring the grounds at Villa Cimbrone, we headed back into town with a delicious detour at Mimi’s pizza. Stay tuned for another spectacular villa.

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34 thoughts on “Ravello – Villa Cimbrone

  1. Such a gorgeous villa Lyssy. Glad you made it there. It is always concerning when transportation plans fall through, but you made it alright, nonetheless. I always wondered what the vehicle accident rate was in many of these hill towns. Good breaks and steering are a must just as is good driving skills. Happy Monday and thanks for sharing. Allan

    1. I’m glad we made it despite the cloudy day and logistical challenges. It seemed like they wanted to keep the accident on the down low because I couldn’t find much information about it online. I know I looked up how to get there the day before and didn’t see any mention online.

  2. Quite the chaotic start to your day. I’m glad you found a way to get to Ravello still and tour the villa. It looks lovely, and I love their views out over the ocean from the terrace.

    1. We were very to have made it over to Ravello, the villa was so beautiful! It’s a nice place to spend a day.

  3. The first photo from the Terrace of Infinity suggested you were looking out at islands in the Tyrrhenian but then I realized you were simply facing the coast of Italy itself, further to the south. The spill of those villas down the mountainside is remarkable (and best seen from the sea). And the cliff below them must be solid rock because there doesn’t appear to be evidence of settling. Coastal Californians would be jealous of that kind of stability 🙂

    1. It is amazing how they could build all those villas in the cliff, especially because most of them are probably relatively older. You are very right, I don’t think any Italians worry about their homes sliding into the ocean. That would be a scary fear to live with.

  4. Wow, what a fantastic villa and a truly stunning part of Italy to explore, Lyssy, minus the sad story about the bus accident, of course. I am in awe of the stunning views of the Mediterranean and the dramatic coastline below seen from Villa Cimborne as well as its blooming gardens (can you imagine getting married here) – could this be one of the most memorable sights on the Amalfi Coast? Although I have to say that the view looking downward wouldn’t probably be for the faint of heart, and on windy days the updraft can make it a positively hair-raising experience. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    1. It is such a beautiful villa to explore and the gardens are just stunning. Jon’s friends younger brother actually got married there this summer and it looked so beautiful. You are very right, I wouldn’t want to be out on the balcony on a super windy day! Hope you have a great day too!

  5. This brought fond memories of our own visit here. We had a hire car and it was really difficult to find a car parking space but eventually we did. Treacherous roads to drive on especially when we were driving on the wrong side of the road.

    1. So glad this brought back some great memories. You are very brave for driving on the Amalfi Coast and on the opposite side for an added challenge. It is definitely not for the fain to heart!

    1. So terrible! We were glad we didn’t find out about the crash until the way down so we could admire all the views without the heartache.

  6. Absolutely beautiful. What a terrifying accident for the bus driver. Italian roads are so narrow. I’m always a bit afraid, especially when cars go so fast as if they own the entire road.

    1. It was such a beautiful place to visit! I agree, we were nervous about the roads before we heard about the bus driver.

  7. I’ve never heard of Ravello, but then again, I didn’t have much time in the Amalfi Coast years ago…but wow! What a stunning place! All of the greenery growing along the walls of the buildings evoke a kind of magical, fairytale-like atmosphere to it– almost Secret Garden-esque! Very tragic about what happened to that bus driver, as those sudden, sharp turns along the narrow coast are no joke! Glad you got to revel in that Amalfi beauty!

    1. Ravello is such a charming and beautiful little city! It really is fairytale-like, especially because it’s so quiet and peaceful without cars. So terrible about the bus driver, it was really kept pretty quiet online which is a little suspicious.

  8. The villa Cimbrone garden is an absolute delight and has an amazing location. I love having sculptures and distinct corners to discover during my garden wanderings. The Terrace of Infinity is stunning. The people who can afford to stay in one of the 19 rooms are really lucky, especially since the tour buses have been discontinued (though the reason is horribly tragic).

  9. Sorry to hear that your ferry was cancelled, but glad you were able to catch an earlier one instead. Villa Cimbrone looks stunning. The gardens are gorgeous and I love the views from the terrace. Fabulous captures.

  10. Oh my gosh the brake failure on that bus!! That is absolutely horrendous – I think being a bus driver on those roads is probably one of the worst jobs I could imagine. On the plus side, Ravello is truly beautiful – we loved it there and your shots are gorgeous 🙂

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