We arrived on the Amalfi Coast, thinking early spring would be an ideal time to photograph the beauty of the area. It turned out that Italy was having a warm sunny spring but that wasn’t the case along the Amalfi, especially during our week in Ravello. The rains were hard, making it impossible to do more than seek shelter. As soon as the rain would lighten up, we would dash down the hill from our hotel to the Villa Rufalo in hopes that the rain would stop and we could photograph the gardens and views, all the while hoping to catch the perfect light. We’d also go the other direction from our hotel to the path that led to the Villa Cimbrone. We were cut short on two occasions due to rain, but kept at it until we finally had a break in the weather.
Villa Cimbrone was originally built on a plateau in the 11th century and came under many hands throughout the centuries, including the church becoming a monastery. Under different ownership yet again, the villa and gardens were updated in the 19th and 20th centuries. The current villa, a luxury hotel and the park were “updated” with statues, fountains, temples and nymphaea, adding the romanticism of the Middle Ages to the property. Much of the ideas for the villa, gardens and park came from frequent guest and English gardener Vita Sackville-West of the Bloomsbury Set.
“Wisteria Lane” was taken looking through the Avenue of Immensity. The stunning branches of wisteria blooms hanging like streamers through the pergola and were breathtaking. Due to the rain’s intensity, we walked on a carpet of various shades of lilac-colored petals our eventual encounter with Ceres in her temple. At the end of this long covered walk, we finally came out into what should have been radiant sunshine but in fact was another gray horizon of sky and water somewhere in all that grayness. We had reached the magnificent Terrace of Infinity.