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Sophie Elkus

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Afternoon in Ravello

Free People romper, Valentino shoes, Janessa Leone hat, Illesteva sunglasses, Hat Attack tote

After a few days lounging beachside in Positano, we drove northeast to the stunning cliffs of Ravello.

I didn’t know much about Ravello before our day trip, besides it being a small town over the Tyrrhenian Sea that is known for its cliffside views. It seems to be overshadowed by the iconic Positano and Capri, but was equally incredible. These photos don’t really do it justice. Most everywhere in Italy is beautiful, but Ravello was magnificent: 360 degree views of colorful small homes tucked into the hillside of the vast mountains overlooking the sea. There’s something extra special about a 360 degree view where every corner in your field of vision is stunning; you feel completely surrounded by natural beauty. I kept thinking about all the most beautiful places I’ve been and, well, I must say this is UP THERE!

The weather in Italy was temperamental all week: warm and sunny one day, torrential rain pour with deafening thunder and lightning the next. On this day, we woke up to blistering heat. I was relieved to have nice weather for our day trip but completely sweating by 10am when we took the ferry out of Positano, hair already threatening to curl up after blow drying it in the humidity (why do I even try?). Thankfully this playful printed romper kept me pretty cool all afternoon. I found it the day before flying out and knew that the middle slit and tie front would be perfect for a hot European day. I also love the little ruffle on the shorts. It comes in another color scheme too, which I love – jump on it before it sells out! It fits true to size.

For makeup in 80+ degree heat, powders are completely out of the question. My go-to routine (used here) is plenty of sunscreen on the face and shoulders (this one is my current favorite; so lightweight with a nice smell and not sticky) followed by my favorite BB water foundation (I use the “light/medium” shade). I used a champagne cream eye shadow (shade “Jean”) a little brown eyeliner, a coral cream blush, and a tinted lip balm. That was pretty much it; anything else completely melts off during the day. In the later afternoon I touch up with a little pressed powder and added some bronzer. As usual, these green tea blotting papers saved the day. I can’t stand a too-powdered face when it’s hot out; I much prefer to attempt that dewy look and just blot away with these when necessary.

We were lucky enough to visit the Belmond Hotel Caruso for a long lunch and tour around the property. Holy gorgeous, this hotel is something else. I visited another Belmond hotel last summer – the Splendido in Portofino – and was convinced that it was the most magical place I’ve ever stepped into. Hotel Caruso brought some competition!! Everywhere you look is just perfect: the iconic infinity pool overlooking the ocean, the lunch patios that fade into gardens upon gardens, and the light-filled lobby. If you’re traveling in the area, I highly recommend at least stopping here for lunch or a cocktail. The views are worth the trip alone, not to mention the food is delicious.

We ordered a classic margherita pizza, a seafood pasta, a caprese salad (the freshest one I’ve had in Italy) and elderflower spritzes (yes this is a thing) followed by lemon sorbet, cheesecake and cappucinos. Aida from the amazing food/travel site Salt & Wind, who I traveled with, is going to recreate these recipes – I will share! Somehow after devouring three course meals in Italy I’m still not uncomfortably full (well, most of the time) and I’m convinced it’s because the food is so fresh and locally produced without additives or preservatives. I kept saying how spicy and flavorful the argula is – apparently this is due to the soil it grows in? – and how rich the parmesan was. Whatever the case, after this lunch I was basically ready to cancel my Classpass membership, move to Ravello to eat giant balls of mozzarella and walk around the property for exercise……

I bought this straw beach tote online as a last minute purchase and it turned out to be crucial for long days when I needed extra space to bring a change of shoes, makeup bag and hat, and my small crossbody bags wouldn’t cut it. This tote is lightweight and versatile. I especially wore it in Ibiza for those beach-days-turned-dinner-turned-nights-out.

The gorgeous gardens at Hotel Caruso.

Attempting to fit the view into an Instagram square: nearly impossible! This patio balcony overlooks the Hotel Caruso’s lush garden with seaside views behind it.

If any of you have trips to the Amalfi Coast planned for this summer, email me for more recommendations in the Ravello or Positano area! Find my whole look worn below.

Photography by Chris Kalima
Free People romper, Valentino shoes, Janessa Leone hat, Illesteva sunglasses, Hat Attack tote

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