The Amalfi Coast has inspired countless artists and writers, and it's easy to see what attracted many of them to the hilltop retreat of Villa Cimbrone in Ravello.

The imposing estate dates from the 12th century, but it was given a new lease of life in 1904 by British aristocrat Ernest Beckett, who welcomed Virginia Woolf and EM Forster. Beckett was also responsible for masterminding the hotel's biggest draw - the landscaped, rose-filled gardens that look out over Ravello and the sea below.

The rooms are furnished with antiques, tiled floors and stone fireplaces; some have frescoed ceilings, all have breathtaking views. During the day, laze on the lawn by the large pool, or venture into the town square.

The restaurant Il Flauto di Pan is one of Ravello's best, with much of the organic produce grown in the hotel's gardens. For a change of scene, Villa Maria ( is the go-to spot for locally caught fish.

WOW FACTOR: Ravello's music festival (July- September), where world-class music is performed in the square and hotel gardens (

FLIGHT TIME: 3 hours

WHEN TO GO: Summer

GO: I-Escape ( offers doubles from £300, B&B. British Airways ( flies to Naples from £122 return.