Munthe lived on Capri for nearly six decades, and his beloved home, built on the ruins of a Roman villa, is now a museum with some 1,600 ancient artifacts and works of art dating as far back as 1250 BC. Munthe’s personal effects are also displayed, including a manuscript of his book The Story of San Michele. The villa gardens mix Mediterranean flora with archaeological finds and offer bird’s-eye views over Capri town and Marina Grande, with Mount Vesuvius on the horizon. Villa San Michele is an island highlight and is generally included in Capri and Anacapri walking tours, day trips, or shore excursions from Rome, Naples, or Sorrento. Most boat trips include free time on land to explore the towns of Capri and Anacapri, Villa San Michele, and other top attractions along with a sail around Capri’s coast and a stop at the Blue Grotto.
Things to know before you go
- Photographers and garden enthusiasts especially enjoy visiting the villa’s historic park with views over the Bay of Naples.
- The wooded mountain slope above the villa has been made into the Capri Bird Observatory sanctuary, and birders should bring binoculars to spot migratory species.
- Exploring the sights in the pedestrian-only towns of Capri and Anacapri require a significant amount of walking. Choose comfortable shoes and, in summer, sunscreen and a hat.
- The villa and gardens are not accessible to wheelchairs or strollers due to stairs and terraces.
- There is a small café inside the villa with outdoor terrace seating overlooking the coastline.
- The villa holds a series of cultural events including concerts, theatrical performances, and book presentations each summer.
How to get there
Villa San Michele is located just outside the center of Anacapri, and can only be reached on foot. Take a taxi or bus from Marina Grande or Capri town to Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri and walk from there.
When to get there
The villa and gardens are open daily all year, though closing times vary depending on the season. Capri and its most popular sights can be very crowded in the summer months and weekends in spring and fall, so opt to visit on a weekday before June or after August to avoid the throngs.
Highlights of Villa San Michele Collections
Axel Munthe was an avid traveler, and his collection includes art and antiquities from his worldwide trips and from Capri’s archaeological ruins. Notable pieces include an Egyptian sphinx from the time of Ramses II and an ancient Medusa mask, plus Roman mosaics, sculptures, and architectural fragments. The villa’s chapel is decorated with medieval religious art, plus pieces from the Neapolitan Renaissance; the dining room and kitchen showcase 18th-century Swedish pewter and 16th-century Lombard copper vessels.