Hotel Pool After a Windy Night

Strong gusts of wind outside the window shutters woke me up just before the alarm went off. I looked out of the window to find several sunbeds had blown into the hotel pool and that the balcony table’s cloth and cushions had blown onto the floor. We made our way downstairs to breakfast which was inside rather than outside due to the weather. There was a good spread of both continental hot and cold food to choose from.

Ravello Cathedral

After breakfast we had intended to go on a walking tour of Ravello to find out what there was to see but due to the extremely strong gusts of wind we decided to go into the Cathedral (Duomo) instead. The main entrance to the Cathedral is via two twelfth century bronze doors cast with 54 scenes of the Passion. On entering the Cathedral, it is notable that the floor slopes quite steeply upwards towards the altar giving the impression of walking up towards God. There are two huge mosaic-covered pulpits; one on either side of the aisle.

Chapel Dedicated to St Pantaleone

To the left of the altar is a small  chapel dedicated to St Pantaleone at the back of which is a small passageway that leads to the Holy Relic of St Pantaleone; a vial of his blood that becomes translucent every 27th July, the day of his martyrdom. I was quite dismayed that a tour guide was talking loudly to her group just outside the chapel, a place that I felt should be a place for reflection rather than noise! After she had gone I entered the chapel and visited the relic which is placed behind glass and contained in a metal grille.

Ravello Street

After leaving the Cathedral we sat in the square for some time drinking tea before setting off on a walk to find the tourist information centre so that we could buy a multi-site ticket to Ravello’s attractions. We arrived at where it should have been to find that it had recently moved location and so we set off to find the new location, taking in some spectacular views along the way. As we paused to take some photos at the top of a flight of steps, there was a loud bang and the sound of shattering glass. An upper window had banged against its shutter and shattered into the street, narrowly missing Mr C.

We continued walking along S. Giovanni del Torro past the Palazzo Avino Hotel and the Hotel Parsifal both of which were on our list of options for a meal one evening. Nearby we paused to look at the war memorial and memorial stone to Umberto I, King of Italy before finally reaching the tourist information office. We found out that the ticket we required was only available at the Cathedral, in the ticket office we had tried earlier in the day but it was closed!

Pathway

We continued our walk, looking for a lunch venue that served Pizza, ending up back almost where we had started our walk. After we had finished our pizzas, which were delicious, we returned to the Cathedral to find the ticket office now open so we were able to purchase our multi-site tickets. Presumably the ticket office is only open when the Cathedral is shut between 12.00 and 17.00 hours. However with the ticket we were able to enter the Cathedral even though it was closed.

We started with the Cathedral museum which has many interesting items including a reliquary bust of St Barbara which contains her skull. A former Bishop insisted that holes be drilled into the bust so that he could check inside to see the relic. Our second visit of the day to the Cathedral was much more tranquil than our first and we paused to light  candles before we left and I offered silent prayers.

Pathway

Our plan for an evening meal was the Villa Amora where we had eaten lunch the previous day but after getting slightly lost on our way there we arrived to find that they only did lunches. We settled on a plan B and booked a table in the Hotel Rufolo before making our way back to our hotel to relax and freshen up before dinner. For my meal I chose sword fish which came with roast potatoes, tomatoes and olives followed by rum baba.

We had a perfect seat overlooking the Amalfi Bay with its twinkling lights and saw some fireworks in the distance. Closer by there was a son et lumière set to the music of Wagner lighting up the Villa Rufolo .

son et lumière

Back in the hotel room we sampled another of the local wines. It was then that I realised that ‘it was forbidden’ to consume any food or drink that had not been purchased in the hotel and that the fridge was not to be used for for personal items either. Ooops!!

No Comments CherryPie on Oct 21st 2017

Ravello

The alarm going off at 3am seemed very early but it allowed us to get the airport in plenty of time for checking in at 4am. We checked in and passed through passport control without any problems. Now that we were not encumbered with our luggage we were able to enjoy breakfast which, for me, was a croissant whilst waiting to board the plane. Boarding was timely but when everyone was seated the captain announced that there would be a short delay before take off due to three planes being stacked in the queue for take off. Then a few minutes later there was another apology; someone hadn’t boarded the plane so there would be a further delay whilst their luggage was removed from the hold. We eventually took off forty minutes late but the flight ran smoothly thereafter.

At Naples airport we passed through customs and made our way to the baggage unloading area. This proved a little quirky; most of the baggage arrived and then there was a long delay before the final few cases (including mine) arrived. Luggage retrieved, we made our way to the airport entrance to locate our driver for our private transfer to Ravello. We drove out of Naples on the main highway where Vesuvius dominated the landscape with its charred lower slopes and wispy clouds ominously floating across the top of the crater. After a brief glimpse of the sea we cut inland and took a narrow winding road up through the mountains to Ravello. As we wound our way up, we were treated to spectacular views of the mountains, countryside, mini shrines and a different view of the imposing Vesuvius. As we rounded one hairpin bend, a larger-than-life sized statue of Jesus greeted us.

Luggage Transporter

At the taxi rank in Ravello our driver informed us that cars were restricted in the centre of Ravello and that he had called the hotel porter for us. A few minutes later a small, strange vehicle arrived onto which the porter loaded our bags and then told us to follow him. He wended his way through the narrow streets at slightly faster than walking pace leaving us trotting along behind him to keep up. When we got to the hotel we found that our room was ready and we were taken straight there. The room was small but nicely appointed with a balcony overlooking the hotel pool and the town square beyond.

Ravello

We booked in for evening dinner in the hotel’s restaurant which is located in the sister hotel, Villa Maria, a few minutes walk away. We then went to find somewhere suitable for lunch, it seemed such a long time since we had eaten breakfast at the airport. We settled on Hotel Amora where we were able to dine alfresco looking out over the spectacular view of the Amalfi Bay. The mountains were illuminated by the sun’s golden light playing across the various mountain features casting shadow and light. We dined on panini, of which I chose Tuna and Tomato accompanied by a glass of cool white wine. It was heavenly.

Ravello Street

We lingered a while before taking a circular route back towards the hotel. We detoured into the town square and the narrow streets beyond where we visited a church, S. Maria A Gradillo which is quite plain inside but which has some of its original medieval floor exposed under pains of glass.

Duomo Square

We stopped for a drink at the cafe Duomo in the square where I discovered the delights of Lemon Spritz; freshly squeezed lemon in water. By the time we had finished it was time to return to the hotel to unpack and freshen up before dinner. The food at the Villa Maria, which has featured on various TV programmes  including the BBC, was delicious and the service was good. I chose pumpkin, almond and lemon risotto and we shared a dessert of citrus fruit and honey en papillote.

A Room with a View

After dinner we walked back to the hotel to sit on our private balcony with a glass of local wine from Mr C’s indulgent (expensive) purchase from the wine shop next to the hotel. The good news is that he was given the corkscrew free of charge ;-) It was a delight to sit outside in the warm evening air and soak up the atmosphere.

10 Comments CherryPie on Oct 19th 2017

Premier Inn

In the afternoon after Mr C had finished his ironing and packing we headed off to Manchester where we were staying overnight because of an early flight the next morning. The SatNav took us on our normal route passed Jodrell Bank. The radio telescope’s dish was upturned and as it had just started to rain I had visions of it becoming a large swimming pool.

Premier Inn

We arrived at our hotel at just the right time to be thinking of an evening meal. We quickly checked into our room then searched on Trip Advisor for suitable nearby places to eat. As we were doing this planes were coming in low, almost over our heads as they approached Manchester Airport’s runway for landing. We found a suitable pub just around the corner and it turned out to be cosy and friendly. The food was good and we could watch the planes with their lights all aglow as they made their final (even lower) approach to the runway.

After our meal we drove the short distance to the airport to work out where we needed to be the next morning. We had a quick nightcap in the Beefeater pub situated next door to our hotel before turning in for an early night due to our 3am start the next morning.

Sweet Dreams

8 Comments CherryPie on Oct 16th 2017

All our poetry, philosophy, science, art and religion serve to embrace with our understanding the spheres too vast and high.

Rabindranath Tagore

Shy Moon

2 Comments CherryPie on Oct 15th 2017

Emergency Kit

I have just returned from holidaying in Ravello, Italy. Halfway through the holiday my camera failed; the shutter stuck in the closed position and the camera view remained black! This led to an unexpected adventure into non-tourist Italy to try and track down a small camera to accompany me on my Italian travels…

…more on the holiday coming soon :-)

4 Comments CherryPie on Oct 13th 2017

Filed under Art

Mindful Colouring

Toucan

No Comments CherryPie on Oct 12th 2017

A Lady on a White Horse

The guidebook I picked up on my recent visit to Broughton Castle provides an interesting anecdote in relation to the Fiennes family name:

Local legend has it that the famous nursery rhyme was originally ‘Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross to see a Fiennes lady ride on a white horse’ – as opposed ‘to see a white lady’

“Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross
To see a Fiennes lady rie on a white horse
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
She shall have music wherever she goes”

4 Comments CherryPie on Oct 10th 2017

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