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Villa Cimbrone

Walk among exotic and colorful plants, statues and sculptures in tiered, manicured gardens high above the Mediterranean at this 11th century villa.

Villa Cimbrone is an 11th century house clinging to a rocky outcrop hundreds of feet above the sea. Today the building is a hotel, famous for its public gardens. For centuries the villa was a home to nobles and other wealthy families. Little of the original structure remains, as it has been extensively remodeled with a mix of architectural styles. 

The gardens surrounding the villa are peppered with paths that lead to quiet flower-filled corners decorated with statues, temples and pavilions. The gardens were extensively redeveloped at the beginning of the 20th century. Among the famous visitors to the garden was English author and gardener Vita Sackville-West.

Go on a self-guided tour of the grounds or join a guided tour. Guided tours must be booked in advance. Check out the villa’s official website for details. 

Immerse yourself in the scented beauty of the Rose Terrace with its geometric flowerbeds of English and French roses. Venture down the steps to Mercury’s Seat and sit on the stone bench under the shade of the oak tree. While here, contemplate the 18th century bronze copy of the Hermes at Rest statue. 

Stroll along the Avenue of Immensity, a pathway that passes under an alley of trees. At the end of the avenue you’ll see the Temple of Ceres, the Roman goddess of harvests. The garden’s crowning glory is The Terrace of Infinity, a path lined with 18th century marble busts that offers superb views over the Amalfi Coast. Stand on the semicircle balcony that juts out from the terrace to feel as if you are suspended over the mountainous landscape.

Villa Cimbrone is situated in Ravello, a ten-minute walk from the main square. The route is well marked by signs, and the villa can’t be reached directly by car from the village. The gardens are open daily and there is an admission charge.


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