Villa Lysis

The villa commissioned by the Baron Fersen dedicated to love and angst

  • Villa Lysis
  • Villa Lysis
  • Villa Lysis

"Lovers' kisses fly to you", to the Island of Capri.

This phrase drove the French baron and man of letters Jacques d'Adelswärd Fersen to cross the Gulf of Naples as if it were mythical River Lethe, said by the Ancient Greeks to be purifying, and land on the island of Capri in July of 1904, leaving behind Paris and the accusations of corruption of minors and crimes against public decency in his wake.

Like many contemporary intellectuals, Fersen made Capri his literary oasis by commissioning a villa on the island's heights facing north: his beloved Villa Lysis, named for the young Athenian and friend of Socrates and subject of Plato's dialogue discussing friendship, which reflected his relationship with his young companion Nino Cesarini, whom he met in Rome and with whom he would spend the rest of his life.

The residence is a gem of eclectic architecture, with a blend of styles and influences which are a memorial to love and angst. Amori et dolori sacrum inscribed above the door reflects Fersen's life philosophy, and this villa would be his place of residence during the happiest years of his life, when he was surrounded by intellectuals and important cultural figures and his home became a meeting place for the greatest minds of the time. This rich existence built on poetry, culture, art - but tinged by debauchery and ill-chosen passions - ended abruptly when Jacques Fersen decided to consume 5 grams of cocaine in a glass of champagne. This drug, which he discovered while traveling in the Orient, was one of his great loves and was also his downfall. Fersen is buried in Capri's Non-Catholic Cemetary in a white urn with Mount Vesuvius and Villa Lysis as a backdrop.

  • Villa Lysis

Getting to Villa Lysis:

From the Piazzetta, walk up Via Sopramonte and continue along Via Tiberio to Via Lo Capo, which will lead you to Villa Lysis (Fersen)
Or
From the Piazzetta, take Via Le Botteghe and then Via Fuorlovado until you begin climbing Via Croce. Continue along Via Tiberio to Via Lo Capo, which will lead you toVilla Lysis (Fersen)
Walking time: about 40 minutes.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

Villa Lysis: hours, tickets and prices
  • Getting there: from the Piazzetta, take Via Longano and Via Sopramonte or, alternatively, take Via Le Botteghe, Via Fuorlovado, and Via Croce. Both routes lead you to the "Cross", where you continue on along Via Tiberio to Via Lo Capo.
  • Walking time from Piazzetta: 45 minutes.
  • Ticket price: EUR 2. Children under 12 free.
  • Opening & Hours: every day except Wednesday, at the following times:

10:00 a.M. - 6:00 p.M. April, May, September, October
10:00 a.M. - 7:00 p.M. June, July, August
10:00 a.M. - 4:00 p.M. November and December

Notes: Opening times and prices may vary. Please check them at info-points in Marina Grande or in Piazzetta.

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Departure from Capri

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Guide included
Villa Lysis and Villa Jovis in one tour

Guide

From € 180 Per group | Max 15 people

Duration 3 hours

Free cancellation

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Inspiration

Art

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.