From these dodgy origins, the Ravello Festival – first held in 1953 – has grown into a really beautiful event that slowly expanded in every possible way. Today the festival proper lasts from June throughout September, and its side extensions even cover the whole period between March and October. This long time is filled by frequent deviations from classical music concertos, with art exhibitions, theatre, poetry readings, multimedia shows, ballet, modern music and cultural events of all sorts. An unofficial tradition involves a unique August concerto held at dawn on a stage overhanging the bay, made even more spectacular by the sun rising behind the nearby cape. Elegant and seriously highbrow, the Ravello Festival has become an obligatory part of any culture lover’s tour – and a great homebase from which to explore all Southern Italy.