Monday, December 11, 2017

Ravello, a truly delightful place in Italy

After a delightful morning in Amalfi and lunch we started on our next visit for the day, a visit to Ravello. The bus takes less than 20 minutes to reach from Amalfi. Ravello is long associated with Moors (who ruled Sicily and Sardinia), and Moorish art and architecture. The towers and the Moorish arches still exist to remind us of the past.

We arrived around 2 PM and the sun was bright with few clouds. We entered through Via Rufolo and spent some time in the garden. There were flowers, but it was off peak. The view of the mountains and the sea was grand. We walked through Villa Rufolo and the exit opens into the piazza. The Cathedral is the center piece of the piazza.

Panoramic Picture of the Cathedral in the Piazza by Raymond Austin, 2017.

The fa├žade of the Cathedral is without too much decoration, but the main brass door seems to date back to Byzantium and the interior is supposed to be very nice with a beautiful pipe organ. The pulpit sits atop six columns on lion back.

The coffee at the restaurant in the Piazza was very good.

Source :

We did not elect to go inside as we had perhaps less than 2 hours before getting back to hotel.  Ravello is also known for its cameo and coral works and we managed to peek into one of them.

Looking away from the Cathedral in the pizza, one can get a glorious view of the Gulf of Salerno. It is indeed better looking than any of its photographs. With just the right sun and the cloudless sky the view presented to us was fabulous.

Ravello has been the home of merchant class who built up the city. It has become the center of art and music in recent times and we missed seeing the auditorium built by Oscar Meyer of Brazil.

Scenes of Ravello:

Ravello has attracted the rich and the famous over a long period from the likes of Boccaccio to Tennessee Williams, and Wagner seems to have finalized Parsifal on which he had worked for many years after he visited the Rufolo Gardens that inspired him his magical garden, Klingsor.

These are some of the notable visitors/Ravello residents (Wikipedia and other sources):

Maurits Cornelis Escher
Giovanni Boccaccio
Richard Wagner
Virginia Woolf
Greta Garbo
Andre Gide
Joan Miro
Truman Capote
Tennessee Williams
Graham Greene
Jacqueline Kennedy
Leonard Bernstein
Henrik Ibsen
Sara Teasdale

Poem by Sara Teasdale:

Title: To E

I have remembered beauty in the night,
Against black silences I waked to see
A shower of sunlight over Italy
And green Ravello dreaming on her height;
I have remembered music in the dark,
The clean swift brightness of a fugue of Bach's,
And running water singing on the rocks
When once in English woods I heard a lark.

But all remembered beauty is no more
Than a vague prelude to the thought of you –
You are the rarest soul I ever knew,
Lover of beauty, knightliest and best;
My thoughts seek you as waves that seek the shore,
And when I think of you, I am at rest.

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