The Hotel Villa Cimbrone is a 5-star hotel and hosts the famous Villa Cimbrone's Gardens considered, perhaps, as the most memorable sight on the Amalfi Coast, Italy. Villa Cimbrone is a popular place for private weddings, honeymoons and receptions, but its expansive gardens and the villa’s belvedere, Terrazza dell’Infinito are daily open to the public.
Villa Cimbrone consistes of the main building and around six hectares of historic parkland, is considered one of the most important examples of the landscape, botany and culture of England created in the Mediterranean area.
The history of Villa Cimbrone
Its origins date back to the 11th century, but at the end of the nineteenth century, by then sadly abandoned, the estate was discovered by British nobleman, the well-known and educated, Ernest William Beckett, Lord Grimthorpe. The villa and the gardens were extensively renovated by Lord Grimthorpe, with the help of a certain Nicola Mansi from Ravello, in the early 20th century.
The Villa Cimbrone's Gardens are the result of the strong influence of classical literature and the reinterpretation of the Roman villa, adorned with numerous impressive decorative elements from all over the world, such as fountains, nymphaea, statues, small temples and pavilions. As a result of Villa Cimbrone’s gardens are considered by Gore Vidal: "the most beautiful place that I had ever seen in all my travels" and the Terrace of Infinity: "breathtakingly beautiful".
Visit to the Villa Cimbrone's gardens: what to see
1. The Cloister
Just beyond the entrance, after the sixteenth century doorway, on the left there is the cloister, a graceful little courtyard in an Arabian -Sicilian - Norman style.
2. The Avenue of Immensity
The Avenue of Immensity (Viale dell’Immenso) is the main walkway through the garden, leading from the entrance to the Terrace of Infinity. The avenue is covered with white and blue wisteria vines, and if you visit during spring when the wisteria is blooming, it is heavenly.
3. The Statue of Ceres
At the end of the Avenue of Immensity, we come to the Temple of Ceres, goddess of the Harvest, whose "dome on spherical plumes" pavillon markes the end of the picturesque avenue and the entrance to the famous and incomparable Terrace of Infinity.
4. The Terrace of Infinity
At the very tip of Ravello, the sweeping view blends sky and sea into a panorama that seemingly never ends. The spectacle which this splendid, incomparable natural balcony, adorned with eighteenth century marble busts opens before the incredulous eyes of visitors truly comprehends something infinite but, any adjective to try and somehow describe this miracle of nature is ineffective.
Casting your eyes down as far as the mountains of Cilento and the tip of Licosa, over this sparkling sea, over the varied and multi-coloured Coast of Amalfi with its lemon groves, the little houses clinging to the hills, dazed by the scent of fruit and furze, the passing of time does not matter to us, bewitched by such beauty, such Divine generosity.
5. The Temple of Bacchus
Further on, down the steps and along the lane, we come to the Temple of Bacchus. Highly figurative, the temple was probably conceived by Lord Grimthorpe as the place where his memory could be preserves. His ashes were buried at the foot of the pedestal.
6. The Eve's Grotto
Among holm oaks, alder trees, chestnuts and the scent of the undergrowth, you can find the marble statue of Eve, the result of the work of the sculptor Adamo Tadolini.
7. The Statue of David
Up a steep series of steps in the middle of the woods there is the statue of David, produced by the Neapolitan sculptor Gioacchino Varlese.
8. The Rose Terrace
A covered stairway with blue wisteria growing on pergolas leads onto the Rose Terrace.
9. The Tea Room
Proceded by a splendid rectangular Italian garden next to the Rose garden that features a Moorish-style pavilion, four Roman-era columns, and some marvelous sculptures.
How to get to Villa Cimbrone?
Arriving in Ravello with a bus from Amalfi, the bus stop is next a pedestrian tunnel, from there the street leads to Piazza Duomo in Ravello. The first villa on the left side is Villa Rufolo, instead the Villa Cimbrone is at the very tip of Ravello. From the Piazza Duomo follow the signs "Villa Cimbrone", it is about a 10/15 minute walk and along the path there are quite a few steps.
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