New Ravello DVD Released
Novmeber 7, 2007 by Wayne Jacobs
The Ravello to Atrani Virtual Walk DVD is our 13th Virtual Experience DVD and possibly our most beautiful one to date. It takes viewers on a 51 minute virtual walk starting in the little village of Ravello and walking along a 1,000 year old pathway down to the seaside town of Atrani.
This walk was filmed in May 2005, while Kathi, Sarah, and I were spending a delightful week in Sorrento, south of Naples on the Bay of Naples. We took a jet-boat down to the town of Amalfi and then a bus ride up the mountain to the little village of Ravello. Ravello, usually overlooked by the tourists who descend on the more accessable towns of Amalfi and Positano, is a real gem. Long known for the Villa Rufulo, where an annual music festival is held, Ravello is so perfect an example of a typical Italian village that John Huston selected it for the filming location of his 1953 movie classic, "Beat the Devil," with Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, and Gina Lollobridgida. And I'm happy to report that Ravello is still that sleepy little Italian village depicted in that fifty year old movie.
This was my daughter, Sarah's, first European trip and I was anxious to share the incredible Amalfi Coast with her. We began our Sorrento adventure after 25 hours in transit: four flight connections just to get to Rome, a train ride from DaVinci Airport to Rome's Termini Station, and a 2 hour bus ride to Sorrento. Arriving around nine PM at our B&B, Casa Astarita, right on the Corso d'Italia, we were greeted by young Italian lady, shown to our rooms, and, exhausted, immediately went to sleep.
During our research for this 3 week trip to Italy (1 week in Sorrento to be followed by 2 in Rome), I had discovered that Sorrento had an excellent, larger than normal, live webcam on their website and I had emailed the tourist bureau there to find the exact location. We had arranged with our family and friends that on our first full day in Sorrento and at a very specific time, they would go to the website and be able to see Kathi, Sarah and I live on the webcam - and it worked! Even my daughter Susan, who was vacationing in Aruba at the same time, was able to watch us live in Sorrento.
Our former travels have included many trips to Italy, including a lovely week some years ago in Sorrento, so we were already acquainted with the charms of the Amalfi Coast. However, Ravello is indeed a special place unto itself. Unlike its larger rival, the town of Amalfi, Ravello has a peacefulness about it that is quite rare to find these days. As more and more of us take to the skies and seek out the sun in European locales, the very qualities and natural attributes of a hillside village seem to vanish before our very eyes. Our virtual walk, filmed on a bright spring morning, took us out of town and along a gorgeous pathway. Instead of seeing lots of other people, we saw an abundance of wildflowers and eye-popping views of the very blue Tyrrhenian Sea beneath us.
While I filmed, Kathi and Sarah followed some distance behind with other equipment: tripod, batteries, tools, video tape, lenses, and a tour book with a description of our walk telling us which way to turn at the many diverging paths along the way. We encountered few other hikers on the path. Since we were going down the 1,200 foot hillside, anyone we met was necessarily coming up and had a much more difficult climb.
We have three other Virtual Walk DVDs not yet released which we shot during those three weeks in Italy; a virtual walk on the Isle of Capri, a walk in Ancient Pompeii, and a walk in Medieval Viterbo, about an hour north of Rome. Hopefully, I will be able to get those edited during the next 9 months.