Up To Ravello

Paul Morrone |

By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA

Ravello is a small village perched high in the mountainside overlooking the scenic Amalfi coast in Italy. The region is magical with the panoramic ocean views in a backdrop of buildings of all types wedged into the cliffs seemingly suspended in air leaving one to wonder how the structures do not tumble down and go crashing into the ocean. As a result of the steepness of the terrain, to navigate around the village, there were a series of steep walkways, alleys and stairs that were lined with gardens, shops selling everything and anything, gelato stands, restaurants, pizzerias and wine bars. What could be better?

We were in Ravello for three nights and we had time to not only casually stroll around but also did a half day trip to the ancient ruins of Pompei. As one would think, the food was amazing. Being on the coast, fresh seafood was in abundance and I enjoyed my share of octopus, calamari and shrimp. In addition to the scrumptious seafood add things like great pizza, pasta, cheese, the freshest tomatoes, bread, olive oil and gelato at every turn and you have a utopian setting for any food lover. When drinking wine in Italy, I always order what is local to the region and made sure I tried a variety of the local wines. Many of the local vineyards are small and their bottle production is only distributed locally and never makes it to the states. I don’t want to drink something that I can buy at my local liquor store here in CT. It just adds to the journey when consuming the local food and drink items.

We noticed that being in the smaller village of Ravello and not in a city like Rome, Venice or Florence, most of the local villagers only spoke Italian. It was never a problem but did make for a few funny moments where we were just navigating around and just pointing at things we wanted to eat and were never disappointed. Food and drink prices were very reasonable which just added to the wonderful eating and drinking extravaganza. We were tired from a long day of traveling and went back to the hotel and had a casual sandwich by the pool. Paul and Jill had coordinated the delivery of Prosecco and pastries which was such a nice surprise and just capped off a wonderful first day traveling abroad.

We checked off a bucket list item for me when we visited the ancient ruins of Pompeii. The volcanic eruption of Mt Vesuvius, that buried the entire city in close to 20 feet of ash and lava, is an incredible historical event. Much of the city has been unearthed in pain staking detail while there still is a large section that remains buried. I think anyone would enjoy the tour of Pompeii even if you are not a history buff. It is amazing to see and learn about the sophistication of the engineering, construction and design of the city infrastructure from over two thousand years ago. A thunderstorm cut our tour a little short, but we saw most of the ancient city. 

The food in Ravello was wonderful whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, something sweet or gelato. Lots of gelato. Being in Italy is about what you do in between eating. Then again you are always eating...and drinking. It was great to visit and spend time in such a quaint little village. It was not crowded and very relaxing. It was a peak into the life of villagers lost in time in the mountains.

If you are looking for a place off the beaten path and don’t mind climbing some stairs, discover Ravello. You will not be disappointed. 

Ciao for now.

Until the Next Tom’s Take…

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