Ravello, on the Amalfi coast, is one of the villages perched on the steep cliffs looking directly down onto the Mediterranean Sea. One gets there via a winding road bordered with vines and lemon trees and the aromas of myrtle and rosemary. Built in the 6th century by Roman patriarchs fleeing Rome and the invading Barbarians, the city became an important commercial port linked to the Republic of Amalfi. It was during this period, between the 10th and 13th centuries that the sumptuous cathedral was built, as well as the magnificent villas whose terrace gardens have a breathtaking view of the bay.
Built by the Rufolo family, the Villa bearing its name is a three-story palace, marked by thousands of years of Arab culture. A vacation site for several popes, Richard Wagner came here in search of inspiration for his “Parsifal”. The 11th century Villa Cimbroni was entirely rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century by an English gentleman named Ernest William Becket who wanted to make it “the most beautiful place in the world”. From the ruins, a palace blending different styles and eras was born with two towers, a courtyard and a sumptuous garden. The beauty of the village, with its narrow streets, arched passageways and steep staircases has attracted illustrious visitors for centuries. Painters, writers and musicians of all nationalities have flocked here including Boccaccio in the 14th century, as well as more modern writers like Virginia Woolf, Paul Valery, Graham Greene, Tennessee Williams and Andre Gide, all of whom were enchanted by the landscapes, the houses in black tuff and the terrace gardens decorated with statues and fountains.
Hotel Caruso is an 11th century palace, decorated with magnificent frescoes. Opened in 1893 by Pantaleone Caruso, it became famous on the other side of the Atlantic thanks to an article in the New York Times which made it a mythical place frequented by, among others, Jackie Kennedy, Greta Garbo and Humphrey Bogart. Purchased in 1999 by the Orient Express group, it was renovated in 2005 and is a combination of several eras. 18th century frescoes, Roman antiquities and medieval arches give this palace a legendary décor.
The rooms, each one different but all facing the bay, are spacious and bright. With their separate living room area, a breathtaking view of the sea and magnificent terraces equipped with chaises lounges, the suites are sumptuous, and some of them even have their own private garden. The jewel of this dream hotel however, is its swimming pool. Surrounded by columns, perched on a 400-meter high cliff, it offers visitors an incredible view of the Tyrrhenian Sea’s turquoise water. At the end of the day, it’s pleasant to walk through the walled gardens and breathe in the delicious aroma of the lemon trees.
And as night falls, after a massage in one’s own room, it’s time to try the Neapolitan cuisine of the restaurants, while admiring the beauty of the coastline and hoping to return one day.
It was in this hotel that Greta Garbo took refuge with her lover, where Graham Greene wrote part of The Third Man and where William Styron wrote Set This House on Fire.
Five stars / Member Orient-Express Group / Former 11th century palace / Refuge for celebrities / Neapolitan style / Gulf of Salerno / Traditional Neapolitan & regional Italian cuisine / Poolside Bar & Restaurant / Cocktail & Piano bar / Spa / In-room & outdoor massages / Outdoor infinity pool / Boat trips / Activities for kids / Boutique
Open all year
50 rooms and suites
Double occupancy from 650 euros
Naples International Airport de (NAP) - Naples
Piazza San Giovanni del Toro, 2
Approximately 2 hours
No time difference
Continental climate inland with high temperatures, although fairly low in winter
Mediterranean climate on the coasts
National ID card or valid passport
No visa required
No vaccinations required
The euro (EUR)
Book by phone
+33 1 75 43 70 26 *Our reservation department is always happy to assist you via phone or via email. We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 18pm (GMT +1).