Ravello’s Palazzo Avino is one of the finest hotels I’ve ever stayed at, and the service some of the best I’ve experienced; let’s just say that it involved a full camera disc, with at least three more days of photo-shooting, and was sorted out beautifully. Then there’s the Michelin-starred restaurant, Rossellini’s, with its fabulous wine cellar. Today the hotel (once the Palazzo Sasso) has been refurbed, renamed and reranked – by Condé Nast Traveller – and is now the 5th best hotel in the world. Congratulations to all!
One of the town’s most famous residents was Gore Vidal, who first visited, in 1948, with Tennessee Williams. He returned many times, and bought ‘La Rondinaia’ on Via Fusco (a spooky coincidence) in 1972. When Vidal died, in 2012, I wrote about his love of the place here.
Another star in its firmament is the Ravello Festival. Ravello has a long music history: Grieg was said to have drawn some of his inspiration for Peer Gynt from the woods and the caves of Ravello. Other musical luminaries, such as Arturo Toscanini, Enrico Caruso, Bernstein and Rostropovitch, have all stayed and worked here. The Villa Rufolo, where Verdi once stayed, is one of the venues for the Festival, as is the long-awaited Oscar Niemeyer auditorium, which opened in 2010 and offers a spectacular view of the coastline.
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