The charms of Ravello also captivated an Englishman, Lord Grimthorpe, who built the Villa Cimbrone early this century with the help of his valet, Nicola Mansi, a native of Ravello. Together they transformed an ancient villa, enriching it with antiques, paintings and relics collected from all over Italy. Today the gardens of Villa Cimbrone are a mediterranean sanctuary.
Tall cypresses reach heavenward, the fragrance of massed roses fills the air; pathways lead us to statues of Roman gods. Along the "Avenue of Immensity" huge pink oleanders line the way to the Belvedere posed on the cliff's edge. From this little building you can pause to take in the unforgettable views from here across the "Infinite Terrace" to the sea and sky beyond, and recall the words of Omar Khayam which are carved above a stone seat in the rose garden at Villa Cimbrone:
"Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st no wane,
The Moon of Heav'n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after us in vain!”
[Rubaiyat, Omar Khayam]