It is hard not to get carried away by the, sun kissed glamour of this part of the world – Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento and the isle of Capri are well-known stomping (and yachting) grounds of the moneyed elite since time immemorial. In contrast, Ravello, high on the Campanian slopes has always been a cultural oasis for the discerning, a refreshing change from the many indulgences of the Amalfi Coast.
Hotel Caruso – Belvedere is the jewel in Ravello’s crown of exquisite hotels. A restored 11th century palace, its stunning frescoes, high terracotta pink walls and marble floors provide an air of majestic grandeur, with its 48 luxurious suites affording breathtaking views of the bay and slopes beyond.
At the turn of the 19th century, a winemaker, Panaleone Caruso, entertained his famous friends at this secluded location. Now, the hotel that bears his name is the epitome of astute luxury. Blossom scented gardens fragrance the air when you wake up. Bulgari and Penhaligon’s products line the bathroom, whilst Frette sheets exceed any threadcount you are accustomed to.
Dining at the Caruso is superlative – the open air Belvedere restaurant is as famous for its starry skied ambience as its Naepolitan specialties from chef Mimmo di Raffaele, including Ravioli di Gamberi rossi con Scarola e Caciotta fresca. The terraced Caruso restaurant is often called the most romantic of the Amalfi Coast – bathed in moonlight from the sky and pearls of shimmering white from the coast.
And beside the hotel’s infinity pool, seemingly perched off a cliff (it’s not, but the views are surreal) is a guests-only pool restaurant, from which emerged a pizza so divine that an Italian-American guest was heard to exclaim that it was ‘Hands down the best pizza Ever’. If guests tire of the pool, there is always the Caruso’s private boat that can bring you round the Amalfi Coast for a dip in the refreshing waters of the Salerno Bay.
by Ethan Long
Hotel Caruso, Piazza San Giovanni del Toro 2, 84010 Ravello (SA), Italy
Tel: +39 089 858 801
Fax: +39 089 858 806