The Amalfi Coast is a dream for walkers. One of the best purchases I have made here was a detailed map of the Coast, which I have put to very good use. On nice days, I often open the map and pick out a new church to go and see. Why churches? I guess because I get to wear my architectural historian hat and my exploration boots at the same time. I climb on walls, peek through cracks in doors, take entirely too many photographs, and get a good walk in all at the same time. As a result, I tend or orient myself in any given city by its churches. This happens to be not too far off the mark since neighborhoods in the cities and the nearby fractions are often named after the local church.
I just recently finished my tour of the churches of Ravello by visiting the Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo in Torello, which is a fraction located below Ravello if you take the steps down to Minori. In the photo above it is not the one toward the center bottom, but is up and toward the left. Below you can see in more detail.
When you head down the steps from Ravello to Minori, you first come across the church of San Pietro alla Costa, which you see in the foreground of the photograph above. The church of San Michele Arcangelo and Torello are located above just to the left. Both churches date from the 10th century, and since documents are not clear they share the title of the oldest churches in Ravello and among the oldest on the Amalfi Coast. Here is a closer photograph of San Pietro I took on a walk last week:
Continuing down the steps on Via Torello takes you on a path toward the fraction of Torello, with a charming little piazza in front of San Michele Arcangelo.
The church of San Michele Arcangelo has a simple and beautiful exterior with a Arab-Sicilian style campanile and interesting exterior buttresses. The interior of the church is known for its stark and elegant design, but the church has been closed every time I make it down there. One of these days I will need to make a special trip just to see the interior. That is, when I figure out when it is actually open! In the meantime, here are some photographs of the apse, campanile and facade. I think the antique columns on the facade of San Michele Arcangelo are simply stunning.
Are you ready for your walk to Torello? As I don’t get a chance to write often enough about the countless beautiful spots on the Amalfi Coast, I decided to start a weekly feature called “Tempting Tuesday” where I can share new locations, particular buildings and stunning views as I discover them. Hope you enjoy!