The Villa San Michele on the island of Capri was built by Swedish physician Axel Munthe, who lived and worked on the island for many years. The villa is located in the center of Anacapri, a short walk from Piazza Vittoria. Tradition has it that one of Tiberius’ villas once stood on this spot.
Villa San Michele Capri
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
The Villa San Michele is easily reached on foot from the Piazza Vittoria. The address is Viale Axel Munthe 34, Anacapri. Phone: +39 081 8371401. Opening hours: From 09:00 to one hour before sunset. Entrance fee: 8 Euro. Website: www.villasanmichele.eu.
History and description
Axel Munthe lived from 1857 to 1949 and wrote a famous book about his experiences on the island. Originally written in English, “The History of San Michele” describes both the visits of famous writers such as Oscar Wilde and Henry James and his dealings with the simple local fishermen.
When he visited the island in 1875 he bought a farmhouse and transformed it into what is now the Villa San Michele. This house is now the seat of the Casa Museo di Villa San Michele.
The museum displays artifacts found on the island by Munthe himself or given to him by friends. Among them are fragments of ancient sarcophagi, busts, parts of an ancient Roman floor and, of more recent origin, medieval sacred art and 18th century furniture.
The Head of Medusa comes from the Temple of Venus in Rome.
The red-granite Egyptian sphinx dates back to the reign of Ramses II, making it more than 3,200 years old.
Other famous works of art include a Greek tomb and a marble bust representing Emperor Tiberius.
The garden of the villa features typical Mediterranean plants, including some endangered species. The so-called Kochia saxicola exists only on Capri.
Besides being used as a museum, the villa is also used for cultural and musical events. In one part of the complex Swedish scientists and artists can do their work in peace.