Villa Cimbrone in Ravello
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Villa Cimbrone is accessible from a flight of stairs just beyond Santa Chiara on the Cimbrone hill. The villa competes in beauty and extravagance with Villa Rufolo.
Indeed this villa is even a clearer example of how history slowly put layers over layers on the buildings of Ravello working to create a very peculiar and fascinating town.
The villa has Roman origins but very little is left of the imperial structure as the Acconciagioco, Fusco and Amici families that lived here turned into a rural home that drastically modified the original look of the villa.
However in 1904 the English Lord Ernst Beckett bought the house and worked to transform it into the architectonical wonder that it is today.
Along with the exotic fashion of the time he made a lot of effort in designing the garden in such a way that it could remind of foreign and distant lands, and quite ironically to many English gardens of the time.
There are endless flower beds of roses, hydrangeas, begonias, and all sorts of exotic plants.
The garden's wilderness makes an even stronger impact on the newcomer when from the shady green tunnels of trees the path suddenly and dramatically opens up onto the Infinity Terrace. Cimbrone's belvedere is indeed Ravello's most exposed part, and thus the gaze can freely wonder along the Salerno Gulf, all the way from Atrani to Paestum's plain and even down to Punta Licosa.
Nowadays Villa Cimbrone is a hotel, however the Garden and the Belvedere can be toured purchasing a ticket.
The interior of the Villa can also be toured on a less frequent basis, however the Hotel staff will be happy to show tourist the 1917 cloister ,very similar to that in San Francesco Church, and the 1913 crypt which opens up to sea like a theatre gallery and vaguely recalls the intertwined and high vaults of Villa Rufolo. Villa Cimbrone's garden is ideal for romantic walks and moments of glamorous relax. Furthermore from the Garden one can go down the Cimbrone hill along some hikes that lead to Mercury belvedere, Eva's cave, Bacchus temple and finally to the Rose Garden all these spots are decorated with statues and marbles, but of course the most astonishing attraction is the mystical view onto the sea.