Published on 23/08/17 in In travel
A blend of historic charm and refined hospitality
Not far from Amalfi in southern Italy is Ravello, which I recommend you visit. This charming citadelle was founded in the Middle Ages by some noble families that had fled Amalfi as a result of clashes between various familial factions, and there erected their mansions in an Arab-Sicilian-Norman style. They are real architectural jewels that fortunately, after centuries of neglect, became objects of worship for the British Grand Tour, as the Villa Rufolo, purchased in 1850 and restored by a learned Scottish traveler.
When Wagner visited it in 1880, the gardens of the villa fascinated him to the point where he was inspired to draft the second act of Parsifal. But Wagner was not alone. The beauty of the small, secluded courtyard, a real gem, adorned by a fountain of bubbling water, served as the setting for Boccaccio in the first story of the Decameron.
Today there are organized concerts. Viewings take place in the blooming gardens with the panorama of the Gulf of Salerno below, and the orchestra seems suspended in the air sitting on the platform attached to the edge of the ravine. If you love music and you come here during the summer, I advise you not to miss this show. The concerts this year start at 8.00 p.m. and only on Tuesday, August 11th will begin at 4.45 a.m. to allow the choir to announce the sunrise. In all honesty, I do not know if there is a dawn in the world more inspiring than this. It is a spectacular finale that is the best culmination of a trip to Amalfi, but it is also an image that is imprinted indelibly in the mind.
Images: The Belmond Caruso Hotel (above)
The Villa Cimbrone
The dawn concert at the Villa Rufolo (below)
The book Traveling in Italy (free download), illustrated with colour images, is available on:
Kobo eBooks: http://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/traveling-in-italy
Google Play eBooks: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=NHaEBAAAQBAJ
YouTube Book Trailer Traveling in Italy: http://youtu.be/SmUgyerpLA8