Chapel of the Madonna della Rotonda
“When people prayed for the birth of a child.”
The little church – with its original rounded churchyard (originale sagrato arrotondato con spalliera a panca*) – overlooks the valley carved by the Reginna Minor stream. The entrance is surmounted by a prominent arched cornice, with a small Baroque window illuminating the interior. The altar is made of polychrome marble with floral inlays from the 1700s. Above it, rises a gold-framed canvas in which are depicted the Madonna breastfeeding the Divine Infant and on either side St. Peter the Apostle and St. Sebastian the Martyr from 1868 (attributed to Gaetano Capone or his workshop).
Women used to pray to the blessed picture for the arrival of a child.
The small church also has an original double-bodied bell tower (campanile a doppio corpo*).
Situated along the boundaries of Ravello’s eastern walls, the road leading from the center of the town to this chapel was known since 1249 by the name of “vicus ecclesiae S. Marie Rotunde”. In 1249, in the deed of sale of land of the Grisone family, is documented the existence of the chapel (belonging to the parish of Santa Maria del Lacco) situated on Mount Rotondo, which overlooks the valley on the eastern border with Minori. It had a different structure from the present one, perhaps Byzantine, as told by historian Camera. Chronicles from 1607 tell of the church’s ruin and abandonment, and in the 18th century, it was rebuilt and embellished with Baroque decorations that can still be seen. In the late 19th century it was restored by Carlo De Julis, whose name appears on the floor and altar marbles.