ravello, italy / notes

(page a work in progress) we are returning to ravello, italy in 2023. on our 2022 visit, we only spent two and half days, and that wasn’t near enough. this time, we want to do it right. at our pace, following our slow travel principles. what follows are some research and historical notes, our plans, and other resources.

  • palazzo avino – our hotel
  • villa rufolo – we had a chance to view the exterior of this place, but did not have the time to explore the whole grounds. tops on our ’23 list. this is also where the wagner music festival takes place.
  • Il Flauto di Pan at Villa Cimbrone


HISTORICAL NOTES (from wikipedia)

Ravello was founded in the 5th century as a shelter place against the barbarian invasions which marked the end of the Western Roman Empire.

In the 9th century Ravello was an important town of the maritime Republic of Amalfi.

It was a producer of wool from its surrounding country that was dyed in the town and an important trading power in the Mediterranean between 839 and around 1200.

In 1086, at the request of the Italo-Norman count Roger Borsa, who wished to create a counterweight to the powerful Duchy of Amalfi, Pope Victor III made Ravello the seat of a diocese immediately subject to the Holy See, with territory split off from that of the archdiocese of Amalfi. Early on, the bishops of Ravello all came from patrician families of the city, showing the church’s municipalized character.

In the 12th century, Ravello had some 25,000 inhabitants, and it retains a number of palazzi of the mercantile nobility, the Rufolo, d’Aflitto, Confalone, and Della Marra.

In 1137, after a first failed attack two years before, the Duchy was destroyed by the Republic of Pisa. After this, a demographic and economic decline set in, and much of its population moved to Naples and its surroundings in the Kingdom of Naples.

In 1944 during WWII, the king of Italy lived in Ravello -at the “Palazzo Priscopio”- while waiting to go back to Rome.

Just outside of Salerno, having left the coast behind us, we reached Ravello. There, the most pungent air, the seduction of the rocks pocked with grottoes and chock full of surprises, the deep and abiding mystery of the cliffs, shored up my strength and my joy, daring me on with new impulses.

André Gide