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Ravello

It cured Richard Wagner’s writer’s block, provided inspiration for DH Lawrence as he nurtured the plot of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and impressed American writer Gore Vidal so much that he stayed for 30 years and became an honorary local. Ravello has a metamorphic effect on people.

Founded in the 5th century as a sanctuary from barbarian invaders fresh from sacking Rome, this lofty Amalfi town was built, in contrast to other Amalfi settlements, up on a hill rather than down on the coast. It’s second only to Positano in its style and glamour.

Ravello's refinement is exemplified in the town’s polished main piazza, where debonair diners relax under the canopies of al-fresco cafes. It’s also reflected in its lush villas (many now turned into palatial hotels), manicured gardens and one of Italy’s finest musical festivals (thank Wagner’s wife for that).

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