This terraced garden stretches out over the sea, adorned with flowered “parterres” on which the “Ravello Festival” takes place every July. Still recognizable today, the original structure dates back to the thirteenth century. It was remodelled in the late 19th-century in the taste of the day.

This garden was created as an experimental botanical laboratory on the Gulf of Salerno in the finest English tradition, after such gardens had already been set up along the Liguria coast. It was designed by Francis Nevile Reid, a Scottish nobleman and expert in art and botany, who in 1851 bought the residence from its original owners, the wealthy Rufolo family. Reid restored the building, by then almost a ruin, preserving extensive parts in the Arab-Norman style, such as the cloister and the Torre Maggiore. Extending over a number of terraces overlooking the coastline, Luigi Cicalese, an eclectic local gardener from Ravello who later became the city’s mayor, also made a key contribution to the garden. From the tree-lined avenue at the entrance to the lowest of the terraces, known as “the Wagner terrace”, a sort of initiatory path leads from shadow to full light, from architecture to landscape, from cypress trees, pines and lime trees to flowerbeds thronged with extraordinarily colourful blooms, taking in towers, cloisters, stairways and terraces. The great garden was completed in 1876. Four years later, Richard Wagner wrote that he had found the magical garden of Klingsor for his Parsifal. For Reid, this place of artistic inspiration allowed him to continue his ceaseless experiments with transplants, grafts, acclimatizing exotic plants and even a rare variety of tea. In Ravello, he began the process of training numerous gardeners who would spawn a long-lasting local tradition.