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By The Views at Ravello -
Jesse Andrews

Ravello - The Unbelievable Beauty
By Jesse Andrews

The gardens at Ravello
By Jesse Andrews

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Welcome to Ravello
From Lee Marshall's "Muse of the World"  Condé Nast May 2001

Population: 2,500
Official website:

Like a weary scholar prince meditating on the passing of empires, Ravello surveys the busy world below, with its beach rage, its limoncello hangovers, its petrol shortages.  Ravello has always been a cut above its neighbours.  In the 12th and 13th centuries, sailors down in Amalfi swore, drank and paraded their lust; money was lent and lost; and galleons disgorged cargoes of spice and silk.  Ravello's merchants came down to barter and cajole, too, but the palaces they built on that stone raft a thousand feet up pretended - in the best courtly tradition - to have nobler origins.  The only trade that actually went on in the town itself was dyeing. Other towns wove the fabrics, Ravello provided the colour. 

The Romans were suspicious of anywhere they couldn't run a straight road through.  Though there are some traces of Roman occupation along the Amalfi Coast - notably a patrician villa at Minori - the natives were mostly left alone with their donkeys, olives and absurd gradients.  So there were no memories of classicial glory to inspire the Amalfitan merchants when they started to make small fortunes out of maritime trade in the 10th C.

Instead, they looked East, bringing home decor ideas, fabrics, statues and whole bronze doors from trading posts in Constantinople, the Holy Land and Egypt.  The Venetians did much the same, but went on evolving, moving on from Byzantine ogees and trefoils to Palladio.  Ravello, on the other hand, stopped building some time between the 14th and 15th centuries, when its commerical luck ran out. It survived as a small, crumbling corner of Byzantium, where goats grazed around the spiral columns. 





Amalfi Coast


By Car:
Take highway A3 from either the south or the north  and Exit at Salerno.
By train:
Salerno Central Staion
By airplane: Napoli Capodichino Airport  Km 40
By boat
: Salerno Marina




Statuary at Ravello

By Jesse Andrews



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