Villa Rufolo is a building in the historic center of Ravello, a town in the province of Salerno, which faces the Duomo in the Piazza del Vescovado and whose initial layout dates back to the thirteenth century, with extensive nineteenth-century alterations.
Originally belonging to the powerful and wealthy Rufolo family who excelled in trade (a Landolfo Rufolo is the protagonist of a novel in Boccaccio's Decamerone), it later passed by succession to other owners such as the Confalone, the Muscettola and the d'Afflitto families.
The monumental complex represents an admirable example of the Arab-Norman style clearly legible in the Cloister, which has a double order of columns with characteristic Arab-Sicilian decorations; medieval elements are present everywhere starting from the entrance tower which houses four statues symbolizing Charity and Hospitality and the barrel vault of the chapel in the main building.
From the outside you can see the Torre Maggiore, about 30 meters high, which for centuries has represented the testimony of the economic and social power of the Rufolo family and which since 2017, thanks to an impressive restoration and enhancement, has housed the Vertical Museum of Villa Rufolo. Visitors, after an ascent of about 100 steps, can access one of the most evocative viewpoints on the historic center of Ravello and on the Amalfi Coast.
The villa is accessed through an ogival opening in the entrance tower; after a short avenue you reach an open space on which the Torre Maggiore rises: the latter faces the bell tower of the Ravello cathedral and dominates the terraces (upper and lower) overlooking the Amalfi coast and the Gulf of Salerno which host extraordinary gardens flowered for most of the year.
Furthermore, among the rooms of the villa, the upper rooms, also recently restored, overlook the gardens and often host exhibitions and events.