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Ravello represents a perfect combination, at its highest level, of natural beauties, art monuments and cultural memories. It is well known that Wagner found in Villa Rufolo both the inspiration for the scenery of Parsifal's second act and the ideas to improve the whole musical structure of his last masterpiece: the concerts which have been held in the same Villa since 1935 celebrate his memory. Verdi stayed in Villa Rufolo as well, Grieg, during his staying at Hotel Toro, drew his inspiration from the woods and the caves of Ravello for some descriptions of his Peer Gynt; great musicians and conductors - like Bruno Walter, Arturo Toscanini, Enrico Caruso, Bernstein, Kempff and Rostropovitch - stayed and worked here. This musical vocation is still now the heart of Ravello's intense cultural life.

As regards painting, great men stayed in and drew their inspiration from Ravello: it is enough to cite, for the 19th century, Ruskin and for the 20th century Escher, who stayed several times at Hotel Toro, ripened his labyrinthic style and met Jetta, the girl who was to become his wife.
Literature represents the field which has had more intense and lasting relations with Ravello. In Decamerone, Giovanni Boccaccio drew his inspiration from Ravello for the description of the enchanted places which are the background of his short stories and he dedicated a very delicate one (the fourth of those he wrote for the second day) to the adventures of Landolfo Rufolo from Ravello. The wealth of details which Boccaccio refers to shows that, most likely, he himself visited Ravello and was enchanted by it.
Closer to us, at the beginning of the 20th century, André Gide set in Ravello some of the central pages of The immoralist; Forster spent a holiday here and set in Fontana Carosa and Villa Episcopio his long, beautiful story Story of a panic. Furthermore, many members of the Bloomsbury group - among which Virginia Woolf - stayed several times in Hotel Caruso, while Lord Becket made Villa Cimbrone an artistic coterie of intellectuals coming from all over the world.
D. H. Lawrence was several times in Ravello, at Hotel Rufolo, in the very period when he was writing his masterpiece Lady Chatterley's lover. Paul Valery left a beautiful line in the Book of famous guests of Hotel Palumbo. After the second world war Ravello saw among its visitors Graham Green, who wrote The third man at Hotel Caruso; Tennessee Williams, William Styron (who set here his long novel Set this House on Fire), Giuseppe Prezzolini (who stayed at Hotel Villa Maria and dedicated to Ravello some pages of his Diaries), Guido Piovene (who described Ravello in his Journey to Italy).  Rafael Alberti dedicated to Ravello a very intense poem. At Villa Rondinaia Gore Vidal lived for most part of the year and wrote his masterpieces.
In the 20th century the relations between Ravello and the movies have been very tight: in 1938 Greta Garbo lived her long love affair with the conductor Leopold Stokowski at Hotel Caruso and Villa Cimbrone; Humphrey Bogart, King Vidor, Jennifer Jones, Paul Newman, Peter O'Toole, Robert de Niro and many other movie stars stayed and worked in Ravello; views from Ravello have been the setting of numberless movies.
Even sciences and other disciplines have been present at their highest level in the cultural pantheon of Ravello: Keynes and Strachey at Hotel Caruso, Crick at Villa Cimbrone, Piaget at Hotel Villa Maria.
As these few data show, the attraction power which Ravello - a small town with few inhabitants, far and distant - has been able to exert for centuries on a multitude of brilliant personages who here drew their inspiration for their various and wonderful works is as extraordinary as its respect for intellectual activity and the intensity of its cultural life.