The Villa San Michele on the island of Capri is a 20th century villa built by Swedish doctor and author Alex Munthe, who lived on Capri for nearly six decades. Now a museum, it is home to more than 1,600 pieces from as far back as 1250 B.C. A collection from the Etruscan period includes a marble sphinx and a head made of terracotta while Roman antiquities on display include a variety of mosaics, sculptures and columns. Highlights of the collection include an Egyptian sphinx in red and black granite from the time of Ramses II and a mask of Medusa. In the chapel, visitors will see examples of medieval church art, as well as pieces from the Neapolitan Renaissance, and in the dining room and kitchen are collections of 18th century Swedish pewter and 16th century Lombard copper vessels. Munthe’s personal effects are also on display, including a manuscript of his book, “The Story of San Michele.”
The villa gardens include more archaeological finds and offer panoramic views of the town of Capri, the harbor, the Sorretine peninsula and Mount Vesuvius.
To reach the Villa San Michele, take the bus from Anacapri and then follow the signs. The villa sits on a ledge on top of Venetian steps. To get to the island of Capri, catch a ferry or hydrofoil from Naples.