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.

Via Torello

San Michele Arcangelo just ahead

View of piazza and Via Torello from entrance

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.

Apse and campanile

Facade detail

Staircase up to the campanile

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!

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The Churches of Ravello

  • Chef Chuck

    Ciao Laura, That was great These fabulous photos and info took me on a tour as if I were there!! I love the history of this area as you know. The shapes and colors are wonderful! Thanks so much, Looking forward to “Tempting Tuesday” Enjoy:)

    March 18, 2009
  • Cherrye Moore

    I wish I’d had “met” you before I went to Amalfi a few months ago. I’d have loved to do this walking tour with you!

    March 18, 2009
  • Laura

    Ciao Chuck! Glad you enjoyed the photos and the (virtual) walk to Torello! You will have to head there next time you are in Ravello. Thanks for letting me know you like the “Tempting Tuesday” idea!

    Ciao Cherrye! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Dang, missed meeting you in Amalfi! Let me know if you head back to this area, and I will let you know when I plan my Calabrian adventure. It would be great to meet in person!

    March 18, 2009
  • Anne in Oxfordshire

    Another great place for me to put on my “To see in Italy” list, looks truly amazing!

    March 18, 2009
  • Amanda

    Great pics! I have always been draw to churches myself, and love the surprise ones you can come upon when walking the streets of Italian towns.

    March 19, 2009
  • Laura

    Ciao Amanda! Grazie! Yes, those surprises are why I always try to have my camera with me. You never know what you might find around the next corner!

    March 20, 2009
  • Laura

    Ciao Anne! If you visit Ravello, I would definitely recommend planning some time to walk and explore the areas around the city. I think the most beautiful hike I have taken on the Amalfi Coast was from Ravello down to Atrani. Simply stunning!

    March 20, 2009
  • Leanne in Italy

    Looks like I’ll have to be checking this out very soon! Lovely pics.

    March 22, 2009
  • Laura

    Ciao Leanne! Welcome back to Italy! Sorry for the cold weather. I look forward to meeting after you settle into Sorrento!

    March 22, 2009
  • nyc/caribbean ragazza

    This walking tour looks amazing.

    I went on the hike to the village above Positano. It was incredible. This spring I hope to make to back and check out Ravello and other parts of the Amalfi coast.

    November 13, 2009
  • Laura

    Ciao nyc/caribbean ragazza! That walk above Positano is glorious. You would enjoy some of the great hikes around the Amalfi area as well. Drop me a line if you head down this way in the spring & I'll share some of my favorite walks!

    November 16, 2009

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