Founded by a colony of noble patricians in the VI century A.D., Ravello was known to Boccaccio who narrated the beauty of art and landscape in the fourth story of the second day of the Decameron, giving immortal fame to Landolfo Rufolo.
Ravello is one of the most popular destinations of the Amalfi Coast. Situated on a rocky promontory at 350 meters above sea level, in panoramic position, the town is a real jewel of art and culture, where a strong sense of hospitality lives in harmony with an atmosphere of rare tranquility, all surrounded by architectural wonders and memories of the past.
Starting from Villa Rufolo, of the XIII century built on an existing Roman structure, with its 30 meter high tower, that overlooks Piazza Duomo. With clear arabesque influences (for example: the famous Moorish cloister), the Villa features three floors, flanked by a central structure composed of a chapel with a barrel vault ceiling and a large dining room. The main feature of the complex is the superb terrace garden overlooking the sea, that the composer Richard Wagner called "The magic garden of Klingsor". Here, every year in July, the famous Wagner Symphonic Music festival takes place.
The Cathedral of San Pantaleone, of the XI century, is mentioned in the list of Italian National Monuments. Most in Romanesque style, the façade is embellished with a main door with fine bronze panels, produced in Constantinople by the artist Barisano from Trani. Inside there is a wonderful fusion of Baroque, Arab and Byzantine elements: sarcophagi, oil paintings, an elegant marble pulpit of the XIII century, an ambo with mosaics of the XII century and a cruet where the blood of the patron saint is preserved.
The monumental complex of San Francesco was founded, according to tradition, by the same Saint of Assisi, during his trip to Amalfi to venerate the relics of St. Andrew. It was originally built in Gothic style and subsequently submitted Baroque refurbishments.
Not to miss: the Church and the Monastery of Santa Chiara, in Romanesque style (XIII century), the Church of San Giovanni del Toro, (X century) with a valuable pulpit of the XII century, the Church of Santa Maria a Gradillo, that has a clear Moorish imprint, Villa Cimbrone, an eclectic building famous for its gardens and the famous panorama over the whole Coastline known as Belvedere dell'Infinito, Villa la Rondinaia (residence, until a few years ago, of the American writer Gore Vidal), clinging to the rocky outcrop overlooking the sea, Palazzo Sasso with its Moorish style and Palazzo Confalone, dating from the XIII century.
After World War II, Ravello, has had the privilege to host important International artists and scholars, such as the writer Gore Vidal, and politicians like President Mitterrand and President J. F. Kennedy. This tradition of distinguished visitors, artists, musicians, actors still continues. The list: V. Woolf, J. M. Keynes, A. Gide, E. Grieg, D. H. Lawrence, M. C. Escher, P. Valery, L. Stokowsky, G. Garbo, I. Strawinsky, G. Greene, E. de Filippo, T. Capote, J. Huston, H. Bogart, G. Sanders, M. Rostand, C. Malaparte, W. Churchill, Ingrid Bergman, R. Rossellini, E. Vedova, Totò, F. Fellini, V. Gassman, R. Schneider, C. Alvaro, B. Streisand, U. Ughi, L. Bernstein, G. Spadolini, D. Rea, Z. Metha, P. O'Toole.