The churches in Rome possess many fine examples of ambones in marble, of which the oldest is probably that in S.
Some early ambones are found in Ravenna, and in the south of Italy are many fine examples; the epistle ambo in the cathedral at Ravello (1130), which is perhaps the earliest, shows a Scandinavian influence in the design of its mosaic inlay, an influence which is found in Sicilian work and may be a Norman importation.
The two ambones in the cathedral of Salerno, which are different in design, are magnificent in effect and are enriched with sculpture as well as with mosaic. In the gospel ambo in the cathedral of Ravello (1272), and also in that of the convent of the Trinita della Cava near Salerno, the spiral columns inlaid with mosaic stand on the backs of lions.
In the epistle ambo at Salerno and the gospel ambones at Cava and San Giovanni del Toro in Ravello, the columns support segmental arches carrying the ambones; the epistle ambo at Ravello and all those in Rome are raised on solid marble bases.
The inconvenience of having a single ambo led to the substitution of two separate ambones, between which these various functions were divided, one on the south side of the chancel being for the reading of the gospel, and one on the north for reading the epistle.