Map

Capri Villa San Michele

The marvelous museum in Axel Munthe's dream home in Anacapri.

Visiting Villa San Michele

  • Getting there: take the bus from Anacapri then follow the signs
  • Ticket price: €7
  • Hours: open every day from 9:00 a.m. to one hour before sunset

"My home shall be open for the sun and the wind and the voices of the sea - like a Greek temple - and light, light, light everywhere!" This is how Axel Munthe described Villa San Michele, his beloved home on the island of Capri.
The Swiss physician chose the most scenic spot on Capri to build his villa, northwest of Anacapri and 327 meters above sea level on the spot where there was once an Imperial Roman villa and a Medieval chapel dedicated to Saint Michael.

Munthe dedicated much of his life to the construction of the villa and surrounding gardens. At the time, the countryside around Capri was strewn with the remains of Roman villas, pieces of marble columns and statuary buried just underneath the top layer of soil. The islanders who worked the land called these finds Tiberius' things and began giving them to the transplanted physician, who added them to his collection of Roman, Etruscan, and Egyptian artifacts accrued during his frequent travels.

Included among the more important works visitors can view at Villa San Michele are the head of Medusa and the marble bust of the Emperor Tiberius which once adorned the temple dedicated to Venus and Rome, sacred Medieval art, Tuscan furnishings from the 1700s, Roman frescoes and statues, a marble table decorated with Cosmatesque mosaics, a Sicilian lamp in wrought iron, and an Egyptian sphinx, which has become the symbol of Axel Munthe's residence and is placed in one of the most panoramic spots in all of Villa San Michele.

Legend holds that if you rest your left hand on the sphinx and make a wish while looking out over the sea of Capri, your wish will come true.

The surrounding gardens are lush with Mediterranean flora, including camelias, hydrangeas, beautiful rose bushes, and pine and cyprus trees. This is encircled by a white, trellis-covered colonnade, characteristic of the island's villas. From the garden, the view over the Gulf of Naples is unforgettable. Today, Villa San Michele is a museum open to the public and in the summer season hosts a music festival, the Concerti al Tramonto.

The story of the villa's construction is told by Munthe in his best-selling book, "The Story of San Michele", one of the most widely translated books in the world.

How to Reach Villa San Michele

From Capri, take the bus or a taxi to Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri. Take the stairs opposite the bus stop, and continue left. On the right, you will find the chairlift to the top of Mount Solaro.

Sites of interest

Tips

Le Arcate

Restaurants

In the center of Anacapri, the restaurant Le Arcate prepares dishes which successfully capture the exquisite...

La Giuliva

Bed & Breakfast

La Giuliva is a charming, sea view B&B in the heart of Anacapri, on the island of Capri

Caesar Augustus

5 Star Hotels

The Caesar Augustus, is an elegant hotel, located on a cliff 1000 feet above the sea, with one of the...

Other ideas

Restaurants

Le Arcate
In the center of Anacapri, the restaurant Le Arcate prepares dishes which...

Restaurants

Columbus
Bar Columbus, a typical Capri style bar and restaurant, is located in the...

Local products

L'Oasi Ceramiche
Hand made ceramics
Limoncello di Capri
The famous lemon liqueur

5 Star Hotels

Caesar Augustus
The Caesar Augustus, is an elegant hotel, located on a cliff 1000 feet...

3 Star Hotels

Villa Ceselle
Surrounded by beautiful scented gardens, Villa Ceselle is a typical island...

Bed & Breakfast

La Giuliva
La Giuliva is a charming, sea view B&B in the heart of Anacapri, on...

Guest Houses

San Nicola
Simple, comfortable and affordable, San Nicola is a welcoming guest house...

Featured hotels

Excelsior Parco

Small Boutique Hotels

Experience the Capri of times past at Excelsior Parco, an early 20th century Liberty style villa transformed...

Casa Morgano

Small Boutique Hotels

The most beautiful things come in small packages...

Grand Hotel Quisisana

5 Star Luxury Hotels

When the luxury is limitless and the elegance effortless, you know you're at Capri's Grand Hotel Quisisana...

Luna

Small Boutique Hotels

You'll have a hard time finding a more spectacular view of the Faraglioni rocks than that enjoyed by...