ravello ’23 villeggiatura

a return trip to ravello, italy in 2023 is now confirmed, with stops also in frankfurt, germany and zürich, switzerland. after a short visit to ravello in 2022, this time, we want to do it right, at our pace, following our slow travel principles…our villeggiatura (see below). what follows are some ongoing research and historical notes, our plans, and other resources. ultimately, this post will become my photo essay of this journey…

  • palazzo avino – our hotel (and their beach club)
  • 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.
  • hang/lunch in the piazza centrale
  • visit the duomo di ravello, which dates to 1068
  • hotel villa cimbrone (including the Terrace of Infinity)
  • villa la rondinaia (gore vidal’s former villa)
  • scala, a town situated just north of ravello
  • the coral museum
  • il flauto di pan at villa cimbrone
  • rossellinis
  • bar san domingo
  • trattoria pizzeria cumpa cosimo
  • pasticceria sal de riso (for our sidetrip to minori)

One doesn’t come to Italy for niceness…one comes for life.

E.M. Forster

entrance to villa rufolo – i took this photo in ’22

It’s impossible to overstate the allure of the Amalfi Coast. It’s romantic, old-world yet low-key, and rife with color and folklore.

Coco Chan


“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.”

Giuseppe Verdi
I don’t think our dates will align with the music festival, but want to hit this someday…

i took this photo in ’22 – when we walking towards the piazza centrale

This place is my capriccio, my self-indulgent whim.

Giovanni Russo

villeggiatura (definition) – an intrinsic italian concept, referring to a prolonged stay in a single place. it means taking your time, a luxury in today’s hectic world. it means immersing yourself in a calm, slow-paced environment without the constraint of time – spending days or weeks in a state of reverie, letting your mind wander, allowing yourself moments of pure contemplation. it means a platform for mental and physical regeneration, a beautiful catharsis. villeggiatura means meditating in a place of your choice, a place that is an extension of yourself, a reflection of your inner being. it means a sense of belonging that can come only from an extended stay. it requires an intense communion with the place, the discovery of its customs and behaviors, and an understanding of its unique rhythms. (notes: from VILLEGGIATURA, published by assouline)

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