A cultural jewel of Anacapri
Built in Anacapri around the turn of the nineteenth century by the Swedish physician and author Axel Munthe, Villa San Michele today houses a museum of Roman antiquities, surrounded by immaculate, flower-filled gardens
Axel Munthe, a successful society doctor, and the personal physician of Sweden's Queen Victoria, fell in love with Italy and moved to Capri in 1887, when he discovered this commanding site, then occupied by the ruins of a chapel dedicated to Saint Michael.
He determined to build his dream house here, and set about designing the Villa San Michele, a labour of love which became his main home for the rest of his life.
Numerous ancient Roman artefacts were unearthed during construction, and many of these are now on display in the villa, which was opened to the public as a museum and cultural institution after his death in 1949.
Capri's Loveliest Garden
I want my house open to sun and wind and the voice of the sea, like a Greek temple, and light, light, light everywhere!
A Flowery Haven
In 1929, Munthe published "The Story of San Michele", which became an international bestseller, and brought renewed interest in Capri.
Munthe continued to develop the gardens and add to his collection of antiquities, including Roman marble sculptures and mosaics and an Egyptian sphinx which gazes out to sea from the terrace.
For many, the main attraction is the beautiful award-winning garden, with its colonades, shady arbours and variety of Mediterranean flora. Mature stone pines, cypresses and palm trees frame the garden, which is filled with a profusion of flowers and native plant life including roses, wisteria, camellias and azaleas.
A Home of Music and Culture
Villa San Michele is also a Swedish cultural institute, hosting an active programme of classical concerts, jazz, drama and art exhibitions during the summer months, and tickets are always in high demand.
And if you simply want to relax and enjoy the scenery with a limoncello to hand, the villa's Cafe Casa Oliv offers wonderful views over the Bay of Naples from its terrace.
If you are on a private yacht charter vacation in Capri, a visit to explore the stunning garden and unique collection of Roman antiquities at the Villa San Michele is sure to leave you with fond memories of this entrancing island.