The island of Capri is alluring and capable of enchanting anyone who comes for a visit. One look at the rugged cliff walls and rock formations will convince you that Homer’s sirens do exist and still sing their seductive songs. We learn from Homer’s mythical book, “The Odyssey,” that it was brave Odysseus himself who ordered his crew to stop their ears with wax as they passed. He had himself tied to a mast with strict orders that no one release him regardless of how much he begged. As a result, they were able to escape the siren’s wail and shipwreck on the calamitous rocks.
High above the sea stands the Villa of San Michele in Anacapri. A long and winding road leads upward into the clouds where you will find the white villa, magical and unique in its ancient setting. Built upon the ruined palaces of the Romans, it sits on a ledge at the top of the Phoenician Steps at 327 meters above the sea.
Axel Munthe, a Swedish-born physician, and psychiatrist who attended the Swedish royal family built San Michele at the turn of the 20th century. He completed a dream he had as a young boy, to create a romantic villa that soared above the sea. Made with bits and pieces of two-thousand-year-old Roman artifacts found on his land, it is unique in itself.
Roman tombstones combined with 18th-century furniture decorate the interior. The elegant outer garden is decorated with Cypresses, myrtle and exotic flowers in abundance. An ancient sphinx sits on a remote corner by a little chapel.
Axel Munthe expressed his beautiful vision for his villa with his own words. “I want my house open to the sun, and wind, and voice of the sea, like a Greek temple, and light, light, light everywhere.”
Enjoy some photos of Capri and Villa San Michele on a cloudy and mysterious day….
Have you been to the island of Capri? The Villa of San Michele? Please feel free to share your thoughts and/or impressions.