The Amalfi Coast, Italy, is dotted with historic villas and beautiful gardens, many open to the public to visit. Ravello is home to two popular villas, Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo, but with limited time on our hands, we chose to just visit Villa Rufolo.
Located just off the central Piazza Duomo, Villa Rufolo stands proud on the cliff side, high within the mountains, with a spectacular view overlooking the coast and the villages below. To think this was once someone’s home is unreal. Talk about kerb appeal 🙂
Dating back to the 13th century, the villa was built for (and named after) a local wealthy family called the Rufolo’s. Alas, the Rufolo’s faced financial problems which left them with no choice but to sell their beloved villa. Over the following years, the villa exchanged hands several times, however sadly became neglected and subsequently fell into a state of disrepair.
Many years later in the 19th century the villa was bought by Scottsman Francis Neville Reid who restored the villa to its former glory. To this day, many of those Arab and Sicilian features can still be seen throughout the villa.
The villa boasts pretty gardens, winding pathways, a tower, a museum, courtyards, but the most impressive part of the villa, for me, was the Belvedere. Situated right on the edge of the cliffs, surrounded by upper and lower gardens, the Belvedere hosts the annual Ravello Music Festival. During the summer months, talented artists from around the world travel to Ravello to perform.