Museum and Historical Residence Casa Rossa

This brick red complex is a perfect example of the typical eclectic residence-museum very much in fashion at the end of the 19th century.

Museum and Historical Residence Casa Rossa
Museum and Historical Residence Casa Rossa

Recommended experiences and tours

Capri Tour by Private Taxi with Local Guide

from € 400
Duration 5 hours Departure from: Capri

Discover all the most famous sights in Capri and Anacapri by private open-air island taxi with...

Shared Guided Tour of Capri from Naples

€ 90 per guest
Duration 7 hours Departure from: Naples

Are you visiting Naples and want to take a day trip to Capri? Choose the small-group guided...

Show all (21)

Along Via Giuseppe Orlandi, Anacapri's main street lined with whitewashed houses and local shops, sits the bright red facade of a building, architecturally unique among its plain-faced traditional island neighbors for its strange and fantastic decorations. This is Casa Rossa, built between 1886 and 1899 by the eccentric American colonel John Clay MacKowen (1842 - 1901) alongside an Aragonese tower dating from the end of the 1400's, and representing a perfect example of the typical eclectic residence-museum which was very much in fashion at the end of the 19th century.

The unique structure of the complex, the blend of architectural styles, the bright brick red color, and the marble fragments which adorn both the inside and outside of the building, make this one of the most interesting residences on the island, and reflect the multifaceted personality of the original owner, veteran of the American Civil War, physician, bibliophile, lover of archaeology, and author of the first monograph on Capri, published in 1884.

A few years after the end of the Civil War, John MacKowen emigrated to Munich in Europe, where he completed his studies in medicine, obtaining his degree in 1876. From here, he moved to Capri, where he lived with a young local woman, Maria Cimino, with whom he had a daughter named Giulia. On the island, he was known for his volatile personality, and the locals soon dubbed him "ciacca e mmereca", a nickname inspired by his quick temper but deep generosity. He did, however, make many long-lasting and deep friendships over the years, both with islanders and with the many artists and intellectuals who had made their home on the island, forming a large expat community on Capri at the end of the 1800's.

The entrance to Casa Rossa, under the Greek inscription "Greetings, citizen of the land of idleness", leads to a covered courtyard where there are a number of archaeological fragments from excavations on the island and beyond, among which the statue of a priestess from the 1st century.

Among the most interesting details of the complex is the covered staircase, topped by a majolica cupola inspired by the traditional style of the external staircases on island homes, and which is used to connect the different rooms in the residence. The complexity of the floorplan and the slightly disorganized design of the home is testimony to the fact that the building was built over a long lapse of time and in pieces, and it is thought that the hands of a number of local builders and architects were involved.

Despite this, the very blend of styles of Casa Rossa is what makes the complex so interesting architecturally, and the mix of different elements, including Classical columns, Moorish windows, Oriental crenellations, and Medieval-style details, forms an organic whole, and captivates visitors with the romantic and eccentric vision of Capri which has charmed tourists to the Azure Isle for centuries.

This look at the past is not limited solely to the building, but extends to the complex's contents. Since 2003, the Isola Dipinta exhibit has displayed paintings of Anacapri from the 19th century and is the perfect opportunity to see the island as travellers on the Grand Tour in the last century did, and fellow Italian artists who discovered this magical place alongside them. These simple yet elegant scenes of daily life, including "La ristoratrice" or "Il Matrimonio" by the French artist, Sain, or the lanscapes by brothers Gonsalvo and Gabriele Carelli, will transport viewers, if even for a moment, back a century in history.

To go even further back in time, pause before the four Roman nymph statues found in the Blue Grotto. Discovered on the floor of the most famous sea cave on the shore of Capri around 50 years ago, these statues are a gorgeous testimony to the presence of the Emperor Tiberius on the island, who chose Capri as his favorite private residence from 27 to 37 AD, and covered the island with splendid villas, temples, and places to practice "otium", or the quiet contemplation of arts, letters, and philosophy.

Casa Rossa, however, is not merely a place where visitors can meander through history. During its opening season, the musuem organizes a variety of cutural events, temporary exhibits, and special hours so visitors can discover the lesser-known yet authentic and interesting, facets of the island's history and traditions, all part of a history more than a millenia long.

Opening Hours
- March and April: 10 am - 4 pm
- May: 10 am 5 pm
- June-September: 10 am - 2 pm and 5 pm - 8 pm
- from October 1st to December 20th: 10 am - 4 pm
- from December 28th to January 2nd: 10 am - 4 pm
Closed: Monday

Ticket: Euro 3,50
Ticket for groups (min 15 persons): Euro 2,00

Guided tour for "L'isola Dipinta" exhibition (duration max 45 min.): 10 am - 11 am - 12 noon - 1 pm - 2 pm - 3 pm

Recommended experiences and tours

Book online or request an estimate to reserve your place now. More than 7.000+ tours and day trips booked online.

Show all (21)

Tours and excursions

Guided Tour of the Historical Center of Capri Town

from € 180

Duration 2 hours 4 hours 8 hours

Discover the beautiful town of Capri during this private tour with an experienced local guide! The tour includes the Piazzzetta, the Gardens of Augustus, and the most picturesque lanes in the center lined with boutiques. We'll also show you little-known Medieval Capri. Our guides are licensed.

Departure from: Naples

Small-Group Guided Walking Tour of Naples

€ 50 per guest

Duration 3 hours

  • A group walking tour through the center of Naples with a licensed guide to explore the most beautiful sights in the city in just 3 hours!
Excellent (195)

Departure from: Capri

Capri in one day - Private tour

from € 280

Duration 8 hours

A tour of the history and landscape of Capri with a local guide. The tour begins with a boat tour of the island, then continues with a walking tour of the Piazzetta and the Gardens of Augustus. After lunch, the tour ends with a visit to the breathtaking Villa Lysis!

Excellent (57)

Departure from: Capri

Capri Historic Center - Private tour

from € 180

Duration 2 hours

An exclusive private tour of the main monuments and sights in the center of Capri. Our guide will lead you from the famed Piazzetta to the traditional Sant'Anna neighborhood then finish at the Charterhouse of S. Giacomo, all the while sharing the stories and secrets of the island!

Excellent (57)

Tours and excursions

Capri Angel, a day with your private guide

€ 500

Duration 2 hours 4 hours 8 hours

An expert local guide at your complete disposal for a full 8 hours and a fully personalized and customized tour of Capri!

Departure from: Capri

Villa Jovis and Villa Lysis - Private tour

from € 180

Duration 4 hours

A private 4 hours-tour to visit Villa Jovis and Villa Lysis: discover with a local guide all secrets of Capri Island, learning about archeology, history, art and nature of these amazing places from the Roman period to the twentieth century.

Excellent (57)

Other suggestions

Book online or request an estimate to reserve your place now. More than 7.000+ tours and day trips booked online.

Show all (108)

Guided tours

Nesea Capri Tour

Guided Walks and Itineraries around Capri

Excellent (57)
Tel. +39 349 5290191

Guided tours

Capri Official Guides

See the island, with an islander

Tel. +39 366 2795287

Guided tours

Capri Time Tours

Organized tours for the independent traveler

Excellent (63)
Tel. +39 329 21 49 811

Guided tours

Kaire Arte Capri

A new way to visit Capri

Tel. +39 329 0936171

Have a question? Ask us!

Top of Page