Pride of place on the town piazza is taken by the Duomo, the town cathedral, dedicated to patron San Pantaleone and founded in 1086 by Orso Papiro, the first bishop of Ravello. Rebuilt in the 12th and 17th centuries though completely restored in 1973, the Duomo retains traces of medieval frescoes in the transept, an original mullioned window, a marble portal, and a three-story 13th-century bell tower playfully interwoven with mullioned windows and arches. The 12th-century bronze door features 54 embossed panels depicting Christ's life, and saints, prophets, plants, and animals, all narrating biblical lore. It was crafted by Barisano da Trani, who also fashioned the doors of the cathedrals of Trani and Monreale. (The door is currently under restoration, and no one is clear when it will visible again -- it was due in 2004). The nave's three aisles are divided by ancient columns, and treasures include sarcophagi from Roman times and paintings by southern Renaissance artist Andrea da Salerno. Most impressive are the two medieval ambos, or pulpits: The earlier one, used for reading the Epistles, is inset with a mosaic scene of Jonah and the Whale, symbolizing death and redemption. The more famous one, used for reading the Gospels, was commissioned by Nicola Rufolo in 1272 and created by Niccolò di Bartolomeo da Foggia. It seems almost Tuscan in style, with exquisite Cosmatesque mosaic work and bas-reliefs and six twisting columns sitting on lion pedestals. An eagle grandly tops the colonnette fronting the inlaid marble lectern. A chapel left of the apse is dedicated to San Pantaleone, a physician, who was beheaded in the 3rd century in Nicomedia.
Every July 27 devout believers gather in hope of witnessing a miracle (similar to that of San Gennaro in Naples), in which the saint's blood, collected in a vial and set out on an inlaid marble altar, appears to liquefy and become clearer. Use one of the side doors to go behind the altar in the small chapel to get a closer look at the pint of the saint's blood. In the crypt is the Museo del Duomo, which displays treasures from around the 13th century, during the reign of Frederick II of Sicily, in an elegant setting.
You'll find gold and silver work, sculpture, and a classic Campanian marble bust of a half-smiling woman from the Rufolo dynasty, whose name was Sigilgaita, adorning the cathedral's pulpit. Reliquaries of San Tommaso, Santa Barbara and San Lorenzo are also displayed here.
I love the bits of history and the show of style that you seem to get everywhere in Italy when you walk the vias. They're the stuff that photographers love and never fail to inspire. Ravello was no different as you can see here,
In the seventh anniversary of his death, Ravello mentioned the figure of 'unforgettable Father Andrea Sorrentino.
"Franciscan exemplary, loving, humble teacher, who set an everyday living example, which he could saturate with prayer and exhortation.
A true angel of the nation, last among the latest, simplest of the simple, humble to the point of agony for the sake of God. "Beautiful figure with the eyes of memory there still seems to see the streets of the city as a doublet of hard cloth, which defied the summer heat and winter refrig, true commitment to serve others, anywhere, anyhow, with the joy of those who carried in his heart the glad tidings.
In the name of Father Andrea Ravello an association has operated for a number of years called "Friends of Father Andrea" which engages in child sponsorship in Madagascar, allowing unfortunate children of that land to receive the care they need.
During the holiday season, at the third edition of the Birth of Solidarity, the marble bust of the monk was placed in one of his favorite places: the gardens adjacent to the "field of Fratini."
After Francis, his passion was soccer: AC Milan was his team and he claimed, as a young man, to not you ever miss a match the pitch with the seminarians and young people of Ravello. Since 2003, the Association Rebellum, during the football tournament 5 "Summer League" giving away the "Cup discipline" that is assigned to the team that best stands out during the event, to be fair. And 'the trophy is larger, more beautiful, more significant because it is dedicated to the memory of Father Andrea Sorrentino.
District of the town of Scala, Pontone was part of the territory of the town of Amalfi until the early XX century. A picturesque hillside village, appreciated since the Middle Ages for its relaxed atmosphere, which explains why the clergy and nobility of the Duchy of Amalfi preferred this village as a place to stay and relax.
The town is dominated by aristocratic houses, bell towers and churches of great artistic value. The Church of St. John the Baptist, dating from the XII century and several times damaged during the following centuries, preserves valuable XVI century and Baroque paintings (including an interesting Circumcision of the artist Aniello Iannicelli of 1590) and a tombstone of knight Philip Spina with an inscription dated 1346.
Even the Church of St. Philip Blacks, although built in X century, has submitted significant renovations in later centuries. It features a fine tiled floor, paintings and a crucifix in baroque stucco of the XIV century.
The Church of Santa Maria del Carmine has a clear Romanesque imprint and proposes the only example in the Amalfi Coast of a covered vault porch.
Pontone is an excellent starting point for excursions to the other places along the Amalfi Coast and also for lovers of nature and mountain trails, to the Valle delle Ferriere or towards the famous Tower of the Ziro, a watch tower built in the XV century on a rocky outcrop overlooking the villages of Amalfi and Atrani and has tied its story to the tragic story of Giovanna of Aragon, better known as "the Mad Giovanna", who married the Duke of Amalfi Alfonso Piccolomini and was left to die of starvation along with her sons in the tower to suppress a scandal. The tragic story of Giovanna of Aragon inspired many novelists, including John Webster ( "Tragedy of the Dutchess of Amalfi"), Françoise Belleforest ( "Histoire Tragique") and Felipe Lope de Vega ( "Comedia famosa y triste del Mayordomo de la Duquesa de Amalfi").
The only thing Pontone doesn't have is the views of Ravello, hence it's lack of fame where tourists are concerned.
Every second picture of Ravello seems to include the roof of this church, mainly because it sits right beneath the balcony of Villa Rufolo.
It makes a lovely addition to any panorama, providing a contrast to the countryside and sea below.
There is a path that takes you right beside it that you can choose to walk on the way down if you like. The following are the basic facts about the church
The old medieval church was built around the end of 1200 at the behest of the Fusco family, of which stands the coat of arms in marble on the portal. The Fusco held the patronage of the church for centuries, have pledged to increase the assets of the church with marble monuments, icons and altarpieces.
Unfortunately it is now completely stripped of assets acquired during the previous centuries, because of the dispersion of the heirs of the family, the spaces have become desecrated and serve as a location for exhibitions and cultural events. The architecture is wide divided into three naves, the central one is more slender, with ogival arches, resting on two columns of granite, a marble and antique green on a pink marble. The pointed arch, which encloses the central apse, preserves the curb traits and surviving frieze of black tuff (or tufa). The peculiarity of the church is the dome, which does not develop in the intersection with the transept but prior to, with the outside arches having small windows.
The simplicity and the essence of architecture aesthetics, combines perfectly with the beauty of Ravello.
This is one of the less well known chuches on the hill - the facts are as follows:
"On the upper area of Ravello, knows as ‘Pendolo’, stands the chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie, originally called San Matteo del Pendolo. The basilica built around the 12th century, has a square plant without transepts, divided into three naves by a double colonnade with apses. The façade is characterized by three big arches, on the side is a bell tower with a 12th century fresco. Built with reused materials (Ionic and Corinthian capitals, granite and marble columns), coming from classic structures, the Church does not have particular decorations, therefore its aspect is quite simple and deeply mystical, typical of the Romanesque style. The interior is embellished by the lights and shadows projected by the high windows of the clerestory, that lighten up also the small crape that preserves a fresco portraying the Madonna feeding her baby. "
In via Roma, near the medieval Castle, stands the elegant church built during the 11th century. The parish venue presents a three naves structure with an elevated transept and three semi-circular apses, result of the cultural contact with the East.
Here the Byzantine world and the classical one fuse harmonically together in the central nave, covered by a roof truss, in the lateral naves by cross vaults and in the cupola that, situated on a high drum, is flanked by two cross vaults.
The artistic will find the mosaic floor very interesting, today protected by transparent panels made by small white and grey stones, portraying a tree with panthers. On the right side of the building the bell tower stands out with double lancet windows decorated with multi-coloured geometric shapes. Modified in the 18th century with pompous Baroque decorations, it was returned to its original aspect after restoration works in the 1950s.
A mosaic welcoming visitors to Ravello proclaims it to be the City of Music. In general, there are musical events at least four times per month in this small town, normally featuring classical music. For more information I suggest phoning the Ravello Festival or clicking the link below to the calendar of events.
10 -15 minute walk from the main square of Ravello - right of the far edge is the superb Villa Cimbrone. It was built for an English gentleman William Berckett and during the golden years was the abode of the English Grand Travellers - Winston Churchill , Greta Garbo and her lover ,the composer Stokowsky, Jacqueline Kennedy, Humphrey Bogart , to name only a few have visted here.
As you enter the gardens and pay your entrance fee you will see the beautiful cloister. Look out at the back of it for the bas-relief of the seven deadly sins.
Villa Cimbrone is a historic building dating from the eleventh century AD, although little of the original structure is now visible. The building was much altered and extended, using a motley collection of salvaged architectural elements from other parts of Italy and elsewhere, by Ernest William Beckett (later Lord Grimthorpe), an English politician, in the early twentieth century. The gardens were redeveloped at the same time. The villa is now a hotel, and the gardens are open to the public.
The most panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea can be viewed from the belvedere, a walkway lined by statues and pavillions.
Villa Rufolo is the masterwork in Ravello's extensive repetoire of historical showpieces. It bears the name of the family which built it in the 13th century. The buildings in Villa Rufolo are in Arabian-Normal style. Here every year, Wagner's concerts are celebrated as a momento to Richard Wagner's stay at Villa Rufolo where he composed his opera Parsifal. The gardens abound with shrubs and flowers rich in scent and colours, adding a special charm against the backdrop of the azure Mediterranean Sea. Every year, open air concerts are held during the Ravello Festival at the Belvedere on the lower gardens with its matchless panorama.
If you are in Ravello try to go to this one night....I am not a classical music fan....but the setting is breath taking. If you can afford it at least go for an hour. One tip we sneaked out a little before the end since it was 11:00 and we had not had dinner...pissed a few people off I'm sure....we ate next door. No one was in there but when the show ended the place became over packed. I think the restaurant is called the garden they do a buffett...which we were hesitant on at first since we had had such great food at the other places in Ravello...well it was awesome.
The nice Belvedere Principessa di Piemonte is located in front of the church of San Giovanni del Toro. It was part of the ancient Albergo Palumbo but nowdays it is a pubblic park. Here you can have a nice view over the coast.
Belvedere Cimbrone is the main attraction of the villa and of Ravello. It is located on the leaning point of the spur on which Ravello rises; here beautiful statues accompany the wonderful views on Atrani, the Amalfi coastal in direction of Salerno and ,if the weather is clear, you can see the plain of Paestum and point Licosa.
The church of San Giovanni del Toro (Church of St.John of the Toro) was built in the 13th century and restored in 1715. The facade has got three nice doors. The interior has got three naves with on the altar a roman grave and a fantastic pulpit with tiles in blue maiolica. On the left side of the church there is a small tower bell.