Villa Jovis ~ photo
Villa Jovis is the largest and most sumptuos of the Roman Imperial villas located on the Island of Capri. There was originally twelve magnificant villas, each one dedicated to one of the Olympus Gods, but today stands only the ruins of three. Villa Jovis, Villa Damecuta and Villa Sea Palace. The Villa was built at the begining of the 1st Century AD for Tiberius. It is located at the top of Mount Tiberius which is 334 meters above sea level. It was discovered in the 1700's by the Bourben ruler Charles. The Villa is around 7,000 m2 and the gardens of the villa cover the rest of the hillside. The villa was designed into the natural slope, which was divided into different floor levels. The difference from the top terrace to the bottom level of the villa is around 40m. The construction is off an unusal height. The planning of the villa was designed around a complex system that held large cisterns for the gathering of rainwater, drinking water and the water supply for the baths that where located at the South of the complex. To the Eastern side is located the Imperial quarters, as this was the highest and most protected part. The Northern side has a balcony of 92m that takes in the exceptional panorama of the Gulf of Naples. It is thought that at the west of the structure on the edge of the hill is an ancient observatory of Trasillus, who was the astrologer of the Emperor Tiberius. Included in the villa is the church of St. Maria del Soccorso and the Roman Lighthouse where Tiberius had taken his life by jumping off the point.
The Blue Grotto ~ photo
The extraordinary beauty of the Blue Grotto has made it famous all around the world. It has become the main attraction and emblem of the Island of Capri. The Blue Grottos existence was revealed in August of 1826 by August Kopisch the German writer. The existance of the Grotto was known by the Romans as antique statues were discovered inside. The natural tavern which was adorned by statues and had an underground tunnel creates an image of a nymphaeum which was constructed around the brillant blue of the sea. The Blue Grotto was believed to be inhabited by witches and monsters, so therefore the locals stayed away. The locals new the Grotto by the name Gradola, because it is located near the landing place of Gradola. You can access the interior of the Grotto only by a small rowing boat. The boat only fits 2-3 people, you have to lay on the floor of the boat and be pulled through the small opening by chain.
Faraglioni Rocks ~ photo
The faraglioni rocks are a splendid example of geological formations. They are located along the jagged coast line of the Island of Capri. Faraglioni is a common noun, which indicates some particular geological formation. It is most probably derived from the ancinet Greek and Roman place-names which include the word 'Pharos' (Beacon). There are four formations that make up the famous rocks. The first one is joined to the coast and is called the 'Stella' (Star) or the 'F. di Terra' (F. on earth). The height of Stella is 109m. The second which is the smallest is called the 'F. di Mezzo' (Middle F) which reaches 81m in height. It also has a natural tunnel that runs throught the centre of the rock and is around 60m long. The third of the formations is named 'Scopolo' or 'F. di Fuori' (Outward F) and is 104m in height. The last of the formations is named 'Monacone' and is located at the back of the other three. It is the shortest although largest of the four formations. The name originates from the seal colony called the 'Monache' nuns that inhabited the slopes of the island until the last century. It is thought that this island is the funeral monument of the African Architect 'Masgaba' due to the remains of Roman structures which consist of an access stairway and a tub for collectng water and raising fish that have been found on the island.
Villa Monacone ~ photo
The Villa Monacone is located beyond the fork to the Faraglioni rocks and before arriving to Pizzolungo. It is named Villa Monacone as it is located facing out over the Monacone rock formation of the Faraglioni rocks. The Villa has an unusal layout for a villa of Capri Island. It is built into the rocky slope of the mountain following its uneveness up the slopes. The layout shows a marked sociable opening by the porch with columns and cross vaults which look straight out onto the way and connect directly with the inside rooms, instead of connecting with the kitchens or workrooms which was the usual layout for a Capri villa.
Pizzolungo ~ photo
Pizzolungo is another form of faraglioni (rock form) located on the Island that stands out among the greenery, Pizzolungo means High Peak. It has many different aspects depending on which angle you look at it from. When looking at it from the front it has a compact but heavy form which has a rough surface that suddenly turns to a sharp point upwards. If looking at it from behind it has a slender and smooth surface that rises to point towards the blue skies. Located at the foot of Pizzolungo is a fork that leads to a breathtaking lookout over the Faraglioni rocks. Which is divided into two small balconies, one which is facing the Port of Tragara and Monacone, and another that looks out at the sea front of Marina Piccola.
Villa Solitaria ~ photo
Nestled behind the irregular rocky column of Pizzolungo where one expects to find nothing but natural beauty, there is the Beautiful Villa Solitaria which means 'Lonely Villa'. This villa was created by the famous Architect of the Island Edwin Cerio, who also happened to be the Major of the Island. This villa is located within the wonderful surroundings of the wild and uncontained nature. It was built at the begining of this century and it is said to follow the Traditional Capri-style of design.
Villa Malaparte ~ photo
Villa Malaparte is located at Cape Massullo, one of the wildest parts of the Island. The villa was owned by the writer and journalist Curzio Malaparte. Who's real name was Curt Suckert. He bought the land from the Vuotto family in 1936 and decided to build a summer house on the point. The villa of his dreams which he named 'Casa Come Me' (Home Like Me) because it reflected his personality and exclusivness. It was designed by the Architect Adalberto Libera, and built between 1938 and 1939. The villa has a unique design with its primitive yet highly modern outline that is set into the rock. It has become an intergral part of the landscape, even though there is a strong contrast between the Pompeian red paint of the walls and of the roofs flooring bricks, against the blue of the sea and skyline. The villa takes in some amazing panoramas as from the first floor which is dedicated to a wide hall with large windows that take up the whole side-walls and face the two coves divided by Cape Massullo. On the North theres the Matermania Cove and on the South theres the Faraglioni's back with Monacone in view. After his death Malaparte donated the villa to the Peoples Republic of China, then later on it became the headquarters of a cultural foundation, and on occasions it is still used for conferences and art exhibits.
The Natural Arch ~ photo
The Natural Arch of Capri is 200m high and around 12m wide. It is a natural phenomenon. It is thought to be the result of an ancient larger structure, possibly the collapse of a cave in pre-historic times that has been broken down over thousands of years to arrive at its present form. It may have been submerged or undergound. With the action of the winds and rain it took its form of an arch. It can be located within 15 minutes walk from the Faraglioni rocks. It has a lookout point that is extremely close to the arch itself and a view that extends down to the lush coastline.
The Gardens of Augustus ~ photo
The Gardens of Augustus are built on the ruins of ancient Roman structures. Originally the gardens belonged to the German Industralist Friederich Alfred Krupp. Who arrived in Capri during the 19th Century. He was the founder of the Great German Steelworks. He later donated the Gardens to the Municipality of Capri, who then entitled them to the memory of the Great Roman Emperor. The Gardens provide a spectacular view, as on the left there is Certosa's Valley and on the right it overlooks the steepest face of Mount Solaro.
Church of St. Sofia
The Church of St. Sofia is Anacapri's main church. It is located in the zone called 'Le Boffe'. It is thought that the church dates back to 1510 as there is an inscription in Latin at the front that translates as 'This Temple is dedicated to the divine Sophia, year domini 1510'. The church has an unusal layout, with three aisles and spaces that do not seem to have a particular layout. The main aisle has a barrel vault, and the two side aisles are covered by sail vaults. The front of the church which was built in the 18th Century has an excessive horizontal expansion compared to its height. It has a double order, with the central part emphasized by a sinuous tympanum which tones down the otherwise too sudden undoing of the sail which supports the cross. Located inside the church is a wooden sculpture from the 15th Century Neapolitan school that depicts the Virgin Mary with the dead Christ.
Mount Solaro ~ photo
Mount Solaro is one of the two main peaks of the Island. It is located to the West and is 589m above sea level. The other peak is Mount Tiberio which is to the East and rises 334m above sea level. It is a massive limestone formation that gradually emerged during the high cretaceous period in connection with the other great masses of the Sorrentine Peninsula, it was then greatly disturbed during the holocenie period by the extreme shiftings that left the layers skewed at angles from 0 to 40 degrees. The eastern and southern slopes of the mountain face have been greatly eroded and fall straight down to the sea. There is also a broad slope that descends towards Anacapri, which has a rich store of spontaneous and imported vegetation, which includes over 850 different species.