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Ravello, Province of Salerno, Campania

Situated along the Amalfi Coast, this charming little town has attracted famous guests for centuries, among them Giovanni Boccaccio, Richard Wagner, M.C. Escher, Virginia Woolf, Gore Vidal, and Sara Teasdale.

Info

  • Altitude: 300 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 2500 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 84010
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 089
  • Patron Saint: St. Pantaleone, celebrated on 27 July
  • Frazioni & Localities: Sambuco, Torello, Castiglione, Marmorata, San Cosma, San Pietro alla Costa, Monte, Casa Bianca.

History

Ravello was an important town of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, between 839 and 1200 AD, and a diocesan town from 1086 to 1603; after that the bishop's see was moved to Scala. In 1270, Nicola Rufolo, one of the richest men of Ravello, had his villa built on a ledge and it has become a famous attraction for thousands of visitors. The Villa Rufolo was mentioned by Giovanni Boccaccio in his Decameron and it is the place where Richard Wagner in 1880 was inspired for the stage design of his opera Parsifal.

What to see

  • The spectacular Villa Cimbrone, famous for its Terrace of the Infinite.
  • The ancient church of San Giovanni del Toro built before the year 1000.
  • Villa Rufolo, the dwelling of the noble Rufolo family in the 11th century, with two towers and spectaculat gardens. At the entrance of the Villa there is the smaller of two towers in the moorish style, conceived only as an ornamental piece of architecture, and never used for defense. The avenue leading into the Villais lined with cypress and lime trees; the villa is a unique example of classical art combined with Sicilian, Arabic and Norman styles. Dominating the gardens is the larger of the two towers, about 30 m tall. Every year Ravello, in memory of Wagner's visit here, hosts Italian and foreign orchestras to perform in the Wagnerian Music festival. The orchestras perform on a platform extending from the lower level of the Villas gardens, as if suspended over the sea far below.

Events and Festivities

  • In the summer months, the Ravello Music Festival, begun in 1953 in honour of Richard Wagner.

Where to stay

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