The other day it was sunny so we went to Ravello to enjoy a walk and poke our noses around the Villa Rufolo gardens to see how they trimmed their hydrangea. The gardener there does wonderful things, so I try to learn as much as I can by observing the beautiful gardens. The hydrangea in my garden now look a lot like this:
Not far from the Piazza Duomo in Ravello is the Church of San Francesco. Following the walkway that leads to the Villa Cimbrone you first see the campanile, or bell tower, of the church.
Then you reach a beautiful atrium with the entrance to the church. I’ve walked through here many times, but the church has never been open to visit.
Although Ravello was practically deserted this winter afternoon, we did find the church door open and ducked inside to take a look. It was a beautiful and very well-preserved interior. The church was empty, so we walked around for awhile looking at all the paintings and the architectural details.
On either side of the apse above the altar there are beautiful paintings showing scenes from the life of San Francesco. Between these paintings there is a grate that likely served as a window for cloistered monks. I’m not sure about the story for these particular windows, but they were interesting to see.
You never know when you’re traveling in Italy when you’ll stumble across an open door and find little treasures like this church. Continuing along toward the Villa Cimbrone, next to peaceful terraces of sleeping vines, we hardly met a soul while enjoying the quiet beauty of Ravello in the winter.
I did say that we hardly met a soul.
Today it’s raining again, but when the rain stops wintertime on the Amalfi Coast is truly magical!