The Views at Ravello -
The Unbelievable Beauty
The gardens at Ravello
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Welcome to Ravello
Lee Marshall's "Muse of the World"
Condé Nast May 2001
Official website: n/a
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
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.
A3 from either the south or the
Exit at Salerno.
Salerno Central Staion
Capodichino Airport Km 40
Statuary at Ravello
us about your trip to Ravello. What
were your favorite places to visit,
stay, and dine.