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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Villa Cimbone, Ravello

It was hot when we went to Ravello in June, so hot that even walking from the car the the main square seemed to be too much. There was lots to see in this small town but the heat sapped our energy and we only managed to make it out to the Villa Cimbone and back. The gardens were our destination and we were not disappointed. It is extraordinary how often on the continent one encounters gardens or villas built, or owned by, the British aristocracy. Visiting them is like having a retrospective encounter with the wealth of Britain in the 19th century. 
The garden has everything, gorgeous vistas along the coast, shady pathways through the woods, beautifully framed statuary and an extraordinarily expensive  hotel, where you can stop for perhaps the most expensive drink you'll purchase in Italy, thankfully supplemented with a huge bowl of local olives and other snacks! The hotel is pictured below.

To get to Ravello you have to drive inland on a torturously windy road. It's a lovely detour and highly recommended.

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