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Italy in Photos

Photos of Italy taken on Walks in the Cities Towns & Villages of Italia

Welcome to Italy in Photos, where we invite you to discover the hidden gems of Ravello: – Ravello is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, Campania, Southern Italy, that sits on a cliff overlooking the Amalfi Coast. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination, known for its stunning views, elegant villas, and rich cultural heritage. Here are some of the highlights of visiting Ravello: – Villa Cimbrone: This is one of the most famous and beautiful villas in Ravello, dating back to the 11th century. – Villa Rufolo: This is another splendid villa in Ravello, built in the 13th century by the powerful Rufolo family. It was later owned by several popes and kings, and it hosted the likes of Boccaccio, who mentioned it in his Decameron, and Wagner, who composed part of his Parsifal here. – The Duomo, or Cathedral, of Ravello is a Romanesque church that was built in the 11th century and dedicated to St. Pantaleon, the patron saint of the town. – The Ravello Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious cultural events in Italy, founded in 1953 to honour Wagner’s visit to Ravello. The festival showcases classical music, opera, dance, theatre, and art, and it attracts world-renowned artists and performers. The festival takes place from June to September, mostly in the garden of Villa Rufolo, where you can enjoy the concerts with a spectacular backdrop of the sea and the mountains. Ravello is not only a feast for the eyes, but also for the palate. The town offers a variety of delicious dishes, such as scialatielli (a type of fresh pasta), zuppa di pesce (fish soup), mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella cheese), and sfogliatelle (a pastry filled with ricotta and candied fruit). You can also taste the local wines, such as the Costa d’Amalfi DOC, which is made from grapes grown on the steep terraces of the coast. Ravello has several restaurants, cafes, and bars where you can savour the flavours of the region. Ravello is a gem of the Amalfi Coast, a place where you can experience the beauty, history, and culture of Italy. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a cultural adventure, or a relaxing holiday, Ravello has something for everyone.

Strada Provinciale 1 is a main road that runs through the town. (Photos 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8) – Via Giovanni Boccaccio is a street in Ravello which runs from Strada Provinciale 1 to Piazza Duomo. (Photos 9-10-11-12-13-14-15) – Piazza Duomo in Ravello is a place of historical and cultural significance, renowned for its architectural beauty and the Ravello Cathedral that stands at its heart. The cathedral, also known as the Duomo, is the spiritual and social centre of Ravello. It was built in the 11th century with support from the Rufolo family and showcases a blend of Baroque and Romanesque styles. One of the cathedral’s most notable features is its bronze door, constructed in 1179 by Barisano da Trani. It’s special because there are fewer than two dozen such bronze church doors remaining in Italy. The pulpit, supported by six spiralled columns atop marble lions, is another highlight. Opposite the pulpit is the Ambo of the Epistles, featuring mosaics of Jonah and the Whale. Chapel of St. Pantaleone houses a small ampoule of the saint’s blood, which is said to liquefy annually on July 27th, the anniversary of his martyrdom. The chapel also contains a silver bust of the town’s venerated saint. The cathedral’s museum, accessible through a side entrance, holds a collection of significant sculptures and other artworks, including a marble bust believed by many to be Sigilgaida Rufolo. The Duomo’s white façade and bell tower, dating back to the 13th century, reflect Moorish and Byzantine influences, making it a must-visit for those interested in history and architecture, (Photos 16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24) – Via Richard Wagner is a street in Ravello which runs from Piazza Duomo to Via S. Giovanni del Toro. (Photo 25-30) – The Giardini del Vescovo is a place steeped in history and natural beauty. Originally a bishop’s residence dating back to at least the 12th century, the Villa Episcopio, which houses the gardens, has been a venue for concerts and exhibitions. The gardens have inspired many, including André Gide for his novel The Immoralist. It was also where Italy’s King Vittorio Emanuele III abdicated in 1944, and where Jackie Kennedy found solace during her 1962 visit. Within its splendid gardens, there is an open-air theatre, adding to the location’s charm and cultural offerings. The gardens are accessible to all visitors, including those with wheelchairs, ensuring everyone can enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the place. (Photos 26-27-28-29)

The Giardini Principessa di Piemonte is a charming little park in Ravello. It’s situated on Via S. Giovanni del Toro, which is a narrow street leading up the hill from the centre of Ravello. The garden offers breathtaking panoramic views, especially of the towns Minori and Maiori, as well as the coast towards Salerno. This small park is adorned with beautifully manicured flower beds and provides a tranquil oasis where visitors can sit and enjoy the scenery. The gardens have a historical connection to the 1953 film ‘Beat the Devil’, which starred Humphrey Bogart and Gina Lollobrigida, among others. Parts of the movie were filmed in the gardens. It’s a place that combines natural beauty with cultural history, making it a worthwhile visit for those traveling to the Amalfi Coast. (Phots 37-38) – The Chiesa di San Giovanni del Toro is a historic church in Ravello with a rich heritage and architectural significance. The church’s foundation dates to between 975 and 1018, initiated by the noble families of Rogadeo, Pironti, and Muscettola. It was consecrated in 1276 by Bishop Pietro of Durazzo. The church has a three-nave structure with apsidal ends, accessed by three portals. The central nave is covered with exposed wooden trusses, while the smaller naves have pointed cross vaults. It houses the Frezza chapel with frescoes and the Coppola chapel with a fresco of the Coronation of the Virgin, revealing 14th-century influences. Notably, the church’s pulpit, created by Alfano da Termoli in the 12th century, is adorned with mosaics and twenty-one majolica basins of Arab origin. The pulpit’s mosaics inspired M.C. Escher during his time in Ravello in the 1920s. The church underwent restoration in 1715 after earthquake damage and again in the 1990s. It was preserved from ruin thanks to government intervention in the 1880s. The Chiesa di San Giovanni del Toro is not only a place of worship but also a testament to the historical and cultural fabric of Ravello, making it an intriguing site for visitors interested in history, architecture, and art. (Photos 41-42) – Via Santa Margherita is a street in Ravello which runs from Via S. Giovanni del Toro to Viale Gioacchino d’Anna. (Photos 43-44-45) – Viale Gioacchino d’Anna is a street in Ravello which runs from Via S. Giovanni del Toro to Piazza Fontana Moresca. (Photo 46) – Piazza Fontana Moresca is a charming square in Ravello. The square features a quaint old fountain of Moorish design, which includes a bull and a winged lion. The fountain dates to the 1700s and originally had statues depicting an ox and a lion, symbols of the evangelists. These were stolen in the 1970s, but copies made by the Catanese author have replaced the stolen originals. The square is one of the oldest in the region and is situated near several historical buildings, including the Villa Episcopio, which served as a bishop’s residence and later as a hotel that hosted notable figures like E.M. Forster and Jackie Kennedy. (Phots 47-48)

Villa Rufolo, a jewel of the Amalfi Coast, stands proudly in the heart of Ravello, overlooking the Piazza Vescovado. Its origins date back to the 13th century, built by the affluent Rufolo family, whose wealth and influence are echoed in the villa’s grandeur and extensive grounds. The villa’s storied past includes hosting King Robert II of Naples and inspiring Boccaccio’s tales in the Decameron. Yet, it was the 19th-century restoration by Scottish botanist Sir Francis Neville Reid that breathed new life into Villa Rufolo, reviving its Moorish towers and expansive gardens. The gardens of Villa Rufolo are a symphony of colours, textures, and fragrances. They cascade down the terraces, offering panoramic views that blend the azure sea with the sky. Umbrella pines and vibrant blooms frame the Church of the Annunziata below, creating a scene so enchanting that it captured the heart of Richard Wagner. The German composer found the inspiration for his opera “Parsifal” within these very gardens, referring to them as “Klingsor’s garden” and solidifying the villa’s place in cultural history. Today, Villa Rufolo is synonymous with music and art. It serves as the centrepiece for the Ravello Festival, an annual celebration of music that transforms the villa into a stage for piano concerts, chamber music, and grand orchestral performances. The stage, extending over the Mediterranean, offers audiences not just a feast for the ears but also for the eyes, as the rugged beauty of the Amalfi Coast unfolds below. The villa itself is a testament to Moorish influence, with its cloister and the Torre Maggiore standing as architectural marvels. The larger tower, next to the cloister, is a reminder of the villa’s past opulence and the legends of hidden treasures that once circulated. Visitors to Villa Rufolo are often struck by its resemblance to Spain’s Alhambra, albeit on a smaller scale. The Moorish architecture, coupled with the stunning vistas and magnificent gardens, make the villa a place of wonder and inspiration. It’s a site where history, nature, and culture intertwine, offering a unique experience that lingers in the memory long after one’s visit. In essence, Villa Rufolo is not just a destination; it’s an experience. It’s a place where the past and present merge, where every stone tells a story, and every view paints a picture. It’s a testament to human creativity and nature’s beauty, standing as a beacon of cultural heritage on the Amalfi Coast (Photos 49 to 72)

Piazza Duomo in Ravello is a place of historical and cultural significance, renowned for its architectural beauty and the Ravello Cathedral that stands at its heart. (Photo 73) – Via dei Rufolo is a street in Ravello which runs from Piazza Duomo to Via S. Francesco. (Photo 74) – Via S. Francesco is a street in Ravello which runs from Via dei Rufolo to Via Santa Chiara. (Photos 75-76-77-78-79-80-81-86-87-88) – The Chiesa S.Francesco dei Frati Minori Conventuali is a significant historical and religious site located in Ravello. The church is part of the Convento Frati Minori Conventuali S.Francesco, which has a rich history and serves as a spiritual center for the community. Visitors often note the peaceful atmosphere and the beautiful art exhibitions that are sometimes held in the cloisters. It’s a place where one can find tranquility and reflection amidst the historical surroundings of Ravello. (Photos 82-83-84-85) – Via Santa Chiara is a street in Ravello which runs from Via S. Francesco to Villa Cimbrone. (Photos 89-90-91-92-93-94-95) – Villa Cimbrone stands as a timeless testament to the grandeur of Italian heritage, perched atop the rugged cliffs of Ravello, overlooking the azure allure of the Amalfi Coast. This historic estate, dating back to the 11th century, is a symphony of architecture, nature, and art, harmoniously intertwined to create an oasis of tranquillity. The villa’s heart is its enchanting gardens, where the famed Terrazzo dell’Infinito stretches out towards the horizon, offering a panoramic spectacle that captivates the soul. Statues of mythological figures stand sentinel along the terrace, whispering tales of bygone eras to the winds that dance through the cypress trees. Within the villa, each room is a chapter of history, adorned with antique furnishings and intricate frescoes that echo the footsteps of illustrious guests who once roamed these halls. The essence of elegance and sophistication, Villa Cimbrone has been a muse to artists, a haven for intellectuals, and a retreat for royalty. The gardens are a labyrinth of beauty, with vibrant blooms, verdant lawns, and hidden corners that invite introspection. The scent of lemon groves infuses the air, mingling with the fragrance of roses and jasmine, crafting an aromatic tapestry that enchants the senses. As the day wanes, the setting sunbathes the villa in golden hues, casting long shadows that play upon the ancient stone. Nightfall brings a serene hush, and the stars emerge, reflecting in the still waters of ornate fountains, as if to pay homage to the enduring splendour of Villa Cimbrone. This majestic property is not merely a destination; it is an experience, a journey through time that leaves an indelible imprint on the hearts of those who wander its paths. Villa Cimbrone is a treasure of the Amalfi Coast, a place where the past and present merge, creating a sanctuary of beauty and peace. (Photos 96 to 116)

Ravello Cuisine: – When it comes to the culinary delights of Ravello, you’re in for a treat. This charming town on the Amalfi Coast boasts a rich gastronomic tradition, drawing inspiration from the surrounding hills and the azure sea below. – Lemon Delight (Delizia al Limone): A delightful dessert made from sponge lemon cake filled and topped with a smooth lemon custard. The tangy flavour of Amalfi Coast lemons shines through in this traditional treat. – Pasta Dishes: Ravello’s pasta offerings are a must-try. Look out for dishes prepared with eggplant or local varieties of tomatoes. These simple ingredients, when skilfully combined, yield exquisite flavours. – Seafood: Given its coastal location, Ravello celebrates seafood. Fresh catches from the sea include fish, prawns, and other delicacies. Try dishes like Tuna Tartare or Salmon marinated in Orange. – Salt Cod with Fried Courgette Flowers: A delightful combination of flavours, this dish features salted cod paired with crispy courgette flowers. – Smoked Beef: A memorable meat course that leaves a lasting impression. – Some restaurants in Ravello put a modern twist on classical dishes. For instance, you might encounter bread with messages written in squid ink and anchovy butter. Explore the unexpected!

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Photo Gallery of  Walk 1 – Strada Provinciale 1 to Duomo di Ravello, Piazza Duomo
Approximately 1.48 km – 0.92 miles

The walk starts in Strada Provinciale 1 – Via Giovanni Boccaccio – Piazza Duomo – Duomo di Ravello, Piazza Duomo

Photo Gallery of  Walk 2 – Via Richard Wagner to Piazza Fontana Moresca
Approximately 0.57 km – 0.35 miles

The walk starts in Via Richard Wagner – Gardini del Vescovo – Via Richard Wagner – Via S. Giovanni del Toro – Giardini Principessa di Piemonte – Via S. Giovanni del Toro – Chiesa di San Giovanni del Toro, Via S. Giovanni del Toro -Via Santa Margherita – Piazza Fontana Moresca

Photo Gallery of Villa Rufolo

Photo Gallery of  Walk 3 – Villa Rufolo to Villa Cimbrone
Approximately 0.62 km – 0.39 miles

The walk starts in Piazza Duomo – Via dei Rufolo – Via S. Francesco – Chiesa S.Francesco dei Frati Minori Conventuali, Via S. Francesco – Via S. Francesco – Via Santa Chiara – Villa Cimbrone

Photo Gallery of Villa Cimbrone