An inexperienced traveler will be panic-stricken when seeing the list of all the attractions that Florence and Venice have. However, Amalfi isn’t rich in such places. From the ancient times, its territory has been inhabited by simple fishermen, merchants, sailors and pirates. For them nature has always been the best of arts and they never tried to compete with it.
The mysterious garden
High in the mountains rising above Amalfi, protected with forbidding rocks and mighty walls, among the lemon-tree bushes there is a small Ravello town hiding. In past local nobility inhabited the place. They earned their money with sea trade, after that they left the noisy coastal settlements and found another place far from the noise and the dangers of the piratical business.
Many people say that best sights are seen from Ravello. If you are not used to seeing such beauty, you can simply lose your head, standing stockstill, for instance, somewhere in Rufolo gardens. Villa Rufolo is a well preserved 13th century ruins, built by local rich man Nicola Rufolo.
Having passed through a mighty Moorish tower you get into a posh fragrant garden. Then, among the cypresses, you see ancient columns and two lions injured by the time, and then encounter a blue booth where tickets are sold. Hurry up to pay for the entrance, or your rapture will fade away. And forget about this booth.
The best thing of this architecture pearl is its courtyard. This is a pure example of the Arabic- Norman XI-XIII century style. It seems that Rufolo was dreaming of the Eastern sumptuousness. The intricate ornament, delicate twisted columns and the gloomy depth of this tiny yard are worth coming to Ravello. Further on your way you get to beautiful gardens with their paths, bridges, galleries and secluded benches.
Terrace of the Infinite
Follow all the way ahead over the narrow street, past the fences and gates straight from which golden lemons fall to your feet, higher and higher, and there it is, over the bridge – Villa Cimbrone. An eccentric English aristocrat built Villa Cimbrone in the beginning of the past century. The style is: absolute eclecticism – some things taken from the Arabic motives of Villa Rufolo, some from the Romanic architecture. A medieval well. And Greek sculpture. What this Villa will enchant you with is its infinity. Its paths lead to nowhere, and that creates a feeling that you can loose you way. And really you can. And, walking along the cypress lanes, come out to a coffee house. Or find yourself by the Bacchus temple.
But you should do your best to find the Terrace of the Infinite. Here, having leaned yourself by the bust of some god, like Minerva, you can feast your eyes upon the endless incredibly blue sea.