Ravello - Amalfi Coast
Perchedon a rockybuttress, at 365 meters from the sea, Ravello is a medival village situated in the center of the Amalfi Coast and majestically hugs the entire Salerno Gulf. It is surely one of best known places of the Divine Coast, for its irrisistible charm and fame that has made it famous the world over, so perfectly in sync with art and music that it has been recognised by the UNESCO patrimony, besides being nominated “The City of Music.”
Today, Ravello is one of the most famous places to visit on an international scale, but also, and above all, a place for the soul for intellectuals and those passionate aboutart and culture. In as much as having a magnificent medieval setting, with its narrow, winding city streets and picturesque landscapes, Ravello is always animated by numerous cultural activities, offering an extraordinary calender of events. The climax is surely the prestigious Ravello Festival, the versatile fair that animates the historical parts of the city essentially throughout the year.
Back in the 1400’s, even the famous Italian author, Giovanni Boccaccio, remained intrigued by Ravello, during his stay in the Naples area, so much as to praise it in his collection of novellas, THE DECAMERONE.
This city’s historical origins are remote and uncertain, even if many masterful scholars supposedly link it to the Classic Roman period, in conjunction with the presence of some ruins of Roman villas on the coast. According to the official historiagraphy, its name should be derived from “res-bella” or “rebellum,” almost to mark the spirit of its inhabitants’ proud independence, as compared with the supremacy of the Amalfi Repubblic.
And finally, during WWII, Ravello dominated the news for having been the place in which King Vittorio Emanuele, escaping from Rome towards Brindisi, abdicated his throne, in favour of his son, Crown Prince Umberto.
In the early 20th century, Ravello’s tourism got a strongboost, with the arrival of British botonist Francis Neville Reid and Ernest William Becket, 2° Lord of Grimthorpe, who began working on the realization of Villa Cimbrone. From this moment on, and for all of the 1990’s, there was a rediscovery of Ravello by tourists, more or less famous, looking for a quiet, beautiful place to spend their vacations. Among well-known celebrities who visited Ravello were Andrè Gide, Edward Norgan Forster, D.H. Lawrence, Greta Garbo, Jacqueline Kennedy, Gore Vidal (also owner for many years of Villa La Rondinaia,) Totò’, Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lollabrigida, just to name a few.
In the last two centuries, its parterre of honour boasts well-known names in the field of music, suchas Wagner, Grieg, Rostropovich, Toscanini, Bernstein, and in the field of drawing and painting, Escher, Turner, Mirò as well as important writers from the likes of D.H Lawrence to Forster, even up to Virginia Wolf.
It’s not by chance that today this unique place in the Amalfi Coast holds important festivals and cultural events, such as the Ravello Festival and chamber music concerts organized by the Ravello Concert Society. Among the most breath taking panoramas of Ravello are thefollowing:
Il Belvedere della Principessa di Piemonte. (Princess of Piedmont Belvedere)
La Terrazza dell'Infinito di Villa Cimbrone. (Terrace of Infinity)
Le terrazze di Villa Rufolo. (Villa Rufolo Terrace)