350 m. above sea level, Ravello is one of the most fascinating places along the Amalfi Coast with a rich history.
Its wonderful view has fascinated and inspired writers such as Gore Vidal (who has lived here for years), actors such as Greta Garbo and composers such as Richard Wagner, who composed his Parsifal here.
The most important era in Ravello was during the 13th century when the inhabitants benefited from the trade between the East and Sicily. It was during that time that its newly wealthy inhabitants introduced the Norman-Saracen style of architecture to their native town. A fine exsample of this style can be found in the Villa Rufolo with a square courtyard enclosed by splendid Oriental arcades.
Throughout the ages Ravello has welcomed visitors from all over the world to enjoy its natural beauty, artistic heritage and peaceful gardens. Today the town's main source of income is tourism.
Villa Cimbrone, this 15th century villa belonged to a noble family, but was largely rebuilt in 1904 by its new owner, an english lord named William Beckett, who transformed into an exceptionally fascinating Villa surrounded by an amazing garden that ends on a terrace " Belvedere" overlooking the whole of the Amalfi coastline.
Villa Rufolo in the center of town, this beautiful villa was built between 1270 and 1280. Since 1975 the villa can be visited together with its beautiful gardens, where are celebrates Wagnerian concerts every summer
"Ravello Festival": July-September.
''St Pantaleone'' 26 and 27 July.
"Festival of Toriello": Every 3rd Sunday of September.
The Cathedral of St Pantaleone was originally built by bishop Papirio in the later 11th century. It has subsequently undergone considerable alterations, especially in the 18th century, which have altered its spirit, though leaving its underlying structure substantially intact. The Cathedral is flanked by a handsome bell-tower dating to the 14th century, and entered through magnificent bronze doors made by Barisanus of Trani in 1179. The interior is notable for its magnificent pulpit dating to the 13th century. The pulpit represents a wonderful fusion of the classic, Byzantine and Saracen style. Opposite to it stands a no less magnificent ambo. The nave and the transepts are decorated with paintings of some value, while the choir is adorned with a handsome episcopal throne and paschal candelabrum.
The Chapel of San Pantaleone houses the reliquaries of the blood of the Saint to whom the Cathedral is dedicated.
Like all the other little villages of the Amalfitan Coast, the feast linked to the Patron of the village of Ravello is a unique celebration impossible to miss.