Lush, green and alive in elegant beauty is the cliffside town of Ravello. Perched high above the Amalfi Coast, and providing some of the best vistas in the region, Ravello maintains a quiet allure that has beckoned to artists and musicians for centuries.
Lush Beauty Above the Cloud
Constructed on a rocky platform, nearly 1200 feet above the deep blue Tyrrhenian Sea, the town of Ravello dates back to ancient Rome when the Romans fled to this early settlement fleeing the wrath of the barbarians. In the 9th century Ravello became the refuge destination of rebel noble families who disagreed with the Doge authority of the day.
Over the next several centuries Ravello saw an ebb and flow of fortune. The Calendar wool boon gave way to the Norman conquests, the town’s population was cut in half, but through it all Ravello’s quiet, stately beauty only grew and her charms inspired artists, intellectuals and celebrities just as she does today.
Ravello will beguile you with lush gardens, terraced vineyards and fragrant lemon groves. The food, as you would expect, is exquisite. Get lost in the grand gardens of Ravello’s most famous villas, climb cobblestone paths that rise to views which will take your breath away.
Villa Cimbrone was built in the 11th century and is famous for its Terrace of Infinity (Terrazza dell’Infinito). You’ll feel as though you’re sitting among the clouds as you gaze out from this exhilarating vantage point.
The villa itself is now a hotel and quite exquisitely appointed. Colorful ceramic floors, stone fireplaces and countless antiques decorate the villa.
15 acres of botanical gardens open to the public, date back to the Middle Ages. Revamped in the early 20th century the gardens are a superior example of the influence of English landscape design and Southern European botanical culture. It’s easy to spend hours strolling among these gorgeous, colorful gardens. The quiet serenity contributes to a feeling of peaceful solitude.
Nicola Rufolo, member of a wealthy merchant family, built this magnificent villa in 1270. Rufolo planned wisely when he constructed his home as it is celebrated for some of the most stunning views in all the Amalfi Coast. The views encompass the Gulf of Salerno as well.
The gardens at Villa Rufolo boast flora which is in bloom for most of the year. In fact the gardens and views at Villa Rufolo are believed to have inspired the garden of Klingsor in the second act of the Wagner opera Parsifal. As a commemoration and tribute to the late composer an annual concert of his music is held in Villa Rufolo lower garden
Beyond the Villas
As you stroll among the breathtaking views and gorgeous gardens of the town of Ravello be sure to take in other equally notable sites. The Duomo and its 13th century Pulpit of the Gospels is widely known for its intricate design. The Chiesa di San Giovanni del Toro, which dates back to the year 1000, served as inspiration for the art of interlocking mosaics.
For those who appreciate the quiet elegance of true beauty Ravello should not be missed. Traditional local cuisine, music that soothes the soul, artists renderings that beguile and inspire, and the peaceful charm of this natural setting have an effect on those who visit that is not soon lost.