Amalfi Coast: things to see in Ravello
Located in the hinterland of the Amalfi Coast, Ravello is one of the main popular touristic destinations, either from its historical point of view, or the purely natural one. Defined as "The City of the Music" because of its countless musical shows held all the year,it is a very calm and exclusive city, almost "confidential", so much that it is attended by a kind of elitist tourist that sees, among its protagonists, a lot of famous characters.
The climate of this area : thanks to its 'high' position, it is a very fresh-aired and sunny city in the summertime; it is also visitable on foot, thanks to its 'human-sized' dimensions, in a few hours of walking.
An area important also for the world of cooking , the local specialties only use all the territorial products, or the typical flavours of the Coast, such as: lemons, mozzarelle, cold cuts, fresh fish and Gragnano's Pasta. Besides, Ravello is also famous for its wonderful and colourful ceramic small shops. The manifesto of the city events is alla about music, of which the city is birthplace, such as the Ravello Festival, dedicated to Wagner.
To live and visit the city at its best, in 2014 has been realized a touristic itinerary called Circuito Ravello, which lets the tourist visit all its major attractions with only one ticket.
Things to see in the Ravello Circuit: the ''Oscar Niemeyer'' Auditorium
The "Oscar Niemeyer" Auditorium is situated near Villa Rufolo, a few metres away from Ravello's centre. It is an enormous building which holds about 400 seats and designed by willing of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer who, on the occasion of the "Progetto Ravello", decided to realize it, not without any problem, first of all: the ground's irregularity.
Since its planning the architect had to take into account the acoustic issue that, firstly, was a problem. However, it has been possible to work in a very brief time.
The Auditorium is divided into three sections: the first one, which hosts the 'auditorium' itself; the second one, which hosts the parking area; and the third one, defined as a "support building', where we can find a snack area, a wide staircase, a book shop and a box office. The living part of the structure has been equipped with an acoustic system on measure, with suitable materials and furnitures. Outside, it presents a curved line that can look like a woman laying down on her side.
Today, the "Oscar Niemeyer" Auditorium is setting of the "Ravello Festival", dedicated to Wagner's music.
Things to see in the Ravello Circuit: Ravello Cathedral Museum
Between the several historical buildings you can find in Ravello, the Cathedral takes on great importance. It is one of the oldest (ex) cathedrals of Italy, and its first building dates back to 1086. over centuries, it has been subjected to various additions and demolitions, so that its current modern configuration presents two elements of great historical-artistic importance: the extraordinary Ambone del Vangelo by Nicola di Bartolomeo from Foggia, with marble inlays; another 'ambone', just right in front of this one, which represents the history of the prophet Giona.
On the left of the presbitery, you can find a Seventeenth-century chapel, inside of which there is the ampulla with S.Pantaleo's blood, that, just like the S.Gennaro's one, each year is going to liquefy. At its inside, there are also two museums: the Opera Museum, situated in the crypt of the church, which recollects some ancient roman urns, some reliquaries fo the pre-Christian age and old artifacts; and the gallery of medieval and modern arts, which presents paintings dating back from to the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, that had been holding into the Cathedrals'chapels, among which paintings by: Francesco Messina, Giovanni Filippo Criscuolo e Valerio Pilon.
Today, the Ravello's Cathedral isn't the diocese's center, but location of the comunal parish.
Things to see in the Ravello Circuit: the Monumental Complex of Villa Rufolo
Villa Rufolo is the Ravello's jewel. It is an elegant and magnificent villa, properly brilliant both from the architectonic and the aesthetic points of view, and contributes to create an evergreen beauty, giving this way the chance of being attracted to whoever has passed or is going to pass from there. As a matter of fact, this is the place which enchanted the musician Wagner, so that he started to think about it as a real meditation refuge.
The villa, built by the Rufolos arounf the thirteenth century, it is a great architectonic heritage which still represents the main reason for tourists to come to Ravello.
Inside, the villa holds various spaces, among which: the Entrance tower, that was built only for aesthetical reasons, without any desire to defend itself; it is formed by different statues, each one representing the four seasons, so that it is considered to be one of the features that attracts most whoever is going to visit the city; the beautiful Cloister, in Moorish style and surrounded by some little columns; the Major tower, or the first part of the whole complex, that, with its high position, pointed put the supremacy of the Rufolos. From here, it is possible, in fact, to enjoy a very good view, either towards the sea, or towards the mountain. The well, where Wagner used to create his "Klingor's magic enchanted garden", one of the first proofs of his visions and of his creativity; the wonderful overlook: a garden which oversees towards west and that offers an amazing of the whole Coast; finally, the chapel which hosts each year every kind of artistic events, even about modern art (we recommend you, in fact, to check all the events that the structure will held out, before booking your trip).
Things to see in the Ravello Circuit: Villa Cimbrone and its gardens
Like Villa Rufolo, also Villa Cimbrone is an old historical building of such great beauty. Today, it is occupied by a 5-star hotel and it is constituited by such magnificent gardens that can be visitable all the year. These ones host inside those that have been defined as "the most beautiful flowers you could image" and have mostly been redesigned at the beginning of the Twentieth century.
Inside of this gardens there is the shady "Viale dell'Immenso", it was realized during the first decades of the Seventeenth century and it is covered by a big and long arbor.
Following in this way there is the "Terrazzo dell'infinito", a spectacular natural balcony, constituited by some eighteenth-century busts made of marble. The view which extends in front of you, holds all the Cilentan mounts to the Licosa' s tip, upon the sparkling sea of the Amalfi Coast, with its lemon trees and little houses: thanks to the smell of fruit and broom that will surround you, it will be hard to feel the passing of the time, since you will be attracted by such beauty.
To reach the Villa, it is possible to acceed thorugh a pedestrian area on a panoramic small path, made of stairs, at only 10 minutes from Ravello's center.
How to reach Ravello by public transport or by car
To reach Ravello by public transport, if you start from Naples central station in Piazza Garibaldi you have to take a train with a stop in Salerno, when you arrive you have to continue by bus. Take line 512001 and get off at the Ravello stop, continue for about 1 kilometer on foot.
Reaching Ravello is not as easy as it may seem, since it is situated between Minori and Amalfi. By car you can reach it leaving both from North and South, just taking the exit at Vietri Sul Mare, and, then, going back towards Cetara-Minori-Maiori. The pat is very beautiful, but could be very congested, especially during the weekend and on holidays.