Visiting Villa Damecuta
- By bus: take the Anacapri - Grotta Azzurra line, asking the driver to leave you at Damecuta.
- By foot: take Viale Tommaso de Tommaso, Via Pagliaro, and Via Grotta Azzurra to Via Amedeo Maiuri.
- Length of trip: 15 minutes by bus or taxi, 30 minutes on foot
- Ticket price: free
- Opening hours: every day from 9:00 a.m. to dusk
Villa Damecuta is one of the twelve villas that the emporer Tiburius had built on Capri. It is located at Anacapri directly above the Blue Grotto; indeed, at the time of Tiberius there was probably an internal passage from the villa leading down into the sea cave below.
This was probably one of the most sumptuous of the emporer's villas, judging from the luxurious marble floors, stucco work, decorations, and art found in recent excavations. The best preserved section is the scenic quarter, built in a style similar to the imperial loggia at Villa Jovis. Beneath the Medieval tower, there is an alcove (cubiculum) preceded by a vestibule and panoramic terrace suspended over the precipice (not accessibile to the public). The mass of volcanic dust found on the walls of the loggia indicate that the villa was damaged by the famous eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD which destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum-
Excavations at Villa Damecuta began in 1937 under the direction of Amedeo Maiuri. Unfortunately, the state of the ruins uncovered both here and at the Palazzo a Mare testify to the deliberate destruction of the building's structure by the fortifications and military lines of communication built during the periods of Bourbon and English occupation.
Located to the far west of the imperial villa, 151 metres above sea level, Damecuta Tower was originally built to defend the island from the raids of Saracen pirates in the twelfth century. It was later used as a fort by the English during the war against the French Bourbons, when it was partially destroyed. Among the artefacts uncovered here are a Greek inscription from a sepulchre, green marble columns, an ancient Egyptian "cipollino" marble column with capital and base, and the remains of plundered floors
The remains of Villa Damecuta are located in a pleasantly shady pine grove, the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.