One of the gems on the Amalfi Coast is the hilltop town of Ravello.
My readers often tell me they wish I included photos in my books. The reason I don’t…photographs typically do not show up well in paperback books. So now I’ve decided to post some excerpts and the accompanying Amalfi Coast photos to match. Enjoy.
From My Amalfi Coast Love Affair
Enjoy an excerpt from Chapter 6 Ravello
One of the gems on the Amalfi Coast, Ravello is a less touristy town perched high above the Gulf of Salerno and the towns of Amalfi and Maiori. Suspended almost 1,200 feet above sea level, Ravello is one of the more sparsely inhabited towns on this coast, with a population of 2,500, although in the height of its prosperity at the end of the twelfth century, I understand Ravello had 25,000 inhabitants.
Much quieter than its busy neighbors, Positano and Amalfi, Ravello is known to be a favorite destination for artists, writers, and musicians. It has the distinction of having been home to Richard Wagner, M. C. Escher, Gore Vidal, Virginia Woolf, Sara Teasdale, Henrik Ibsen, and Giovanni Boccaccio. Celebrities like Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Greta Garbo, and Paul Newman have become enamored by its charm.
From its vantage point high above the sea, Ravello provides some of the most picturesque views of the Amalfi Coast.
After making his home here for years, Gore Vidal once said, “Twenty-five years ago I was asked by an American magazine what was the most beautiful place that I had ever seen in all my travels, and I said the view from the belvedere of the Villa Cimbrone on a bright winter’s day when the sky and the sea were each so vividly blue that it was not possible to tell one from the other.”
Villa Cimbrone is a luxury five-star hotel today, with a price tag to match, but its magnificent gardens are open to the public. The first thing to see inside the gardens is the crypt, and its architectural style is impressive. I learn that this Gothic open gallery is often used for wedding receptions, and the space is patterned after Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, England. Its design appears medieval, yet its construction is early twentieth century. I am inspired by the symmetry and perfection of the columns’ positions. An architecture student would fall in love with this place on the spot. The silence at the crypt allows me to contemplate the moment and take pleasure in the grace that surrounds me. The fact that I am alone here makes the experience even more surreal.
A popular venue for destination weddings because the views are superb, Villa Cimbrone is probably best known for this outdoor terrace, also called the Belvedere of Infinity. Lined with sculptured marble Roman busts, the views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and coastline below are unsurpassed. Quite a few tourists pose for photos here, and since my preference is to shoot nature photographs sans people, I have to wait to capture the perfect image without tourists in the shot. The spectacular views of the coastline make the uphill walking and numerous steps and staircases worth the effort. I could stay here for an hour or more.
Excerpt from My Amalfi Coast Love Affair.
My Amalfi Coast Love Affair
is available in digital, paperback, and now audiobook.
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