On an island of delights, picking out a favourite almost seems like sacrilege but I would be remiss if I didn't reflect the joy that San Michele has brought into my life I went there because it was recommended. Two months later I am wallowing in all that is San Michele.
Though some might come and look and say it's nice, I can't help my overwhelming curiousity and the more you learn about San Michele and the man who conjured it up, the more fascinating it becomes.
Axel Munthe has written a best seller, "The Story of San Michele". If you are a traveller or a doctor or simply love reading, DO NOT FAIL TO BUY IT!
It's an enchanting read about the life that led Axel to make his home here and will take you back there every time you pick the book up and, take my word for it, that's not a bad thing.
Bits of historic remnants from the time of Tiberius and other classical items have been incorporated into the villa and it's pretty much as he left it.
For mine it offers the most wonderful of all Capri's magical vistas with history, a garden and a man's life thrown in.
As you near Anacapri it's on your left though on your first trip up there you'll probably be gaping at the stunning drop off the Via Principale.
It costs around 6 euros to get in and the villa offers such a variety of architecture and garden delights it's well worth the admission
Via Matromania continued
The walk takes a decided downhill turn after Arco Naturale as you wind through the Mediterranean forest and arrive at the nymphaneum, a monument where a spring was once utilized for bathing.
It is known as the Grotta di Matromania or Matermania.
Scholars have attributed the cult rituals which were performed in the cave to the divinities Mitra or Cibele, goddess of fertility.
By now you will have put many of the nearly 1,000 steps behind you but they will almost pass unnoticed as you glide from view upon view, bypassing the Faraglioni.
The red construction (pic 4) that you can't help but notice on the promontory (known as Capo Fasullo, after the legendary fisherman), was built by Curzio Malaparte, and is one of the very few villas of Capri to have a private jetty.
Kurt Erich Suchert, whose name in art was Curzio Malaparte, was born in Prato to parents of Anglo Saxon origin. He became actively involved in politics, frequenting intellectual circles and societies. In 1927 he became Editor in Chief of the “Mattino” newspaper and moved to Naples. Later he became Editor of the “Stampa” newspaper. During the war he fought on the Italian-French front, in Russia, Poland, Germany, Croatia, Finland. Among his works: Kaputt, La Pelle, Sangue, Donna come me. As a consequence of his political ideas and for his “brutal” way of expressing them, Malaparte was arrested on more than one occasion. Curzio Malaparte arrived in Capri for the first time in 1936 to visit his friend Axel Munthe. Here he bought a piece of land right on the cliff edge at Capo Massullo where, in 1938, he built a villa which he called “A house like me”, which perches, fiery red, on the promontory. After a long legal battle, the villa now belongs to the Giorgio Ronchi Foundation, dedicated to the nephew of Malaparte, who died in 1944 during the war.
The Giorgio Ronchi Foundation was established in 1945 by the world famous scientist Professor Vasco Ronchi, to honour the memory of his son Giorgio who was killed in 1944 by the very last German bomb to hit Florence.
The Foundation was directed by Professor Ronchi until his death on October 31st, 1988.
The Foundation has published its scientific journal since 1946. The "Atti della Fondazione Giorgio Ronchi" is a publication dedicated to classical and modern optics, history and philosophy of science, science of vision, ophthalmology, astronomy, optical instrumentation, infrared and electromagnetism.
The Atti has a large readership of opticians, astronomers, university institutes and departments, eye clinics, and many public and private Research Institutes in Italy, Europe and all over the world. It also organises interesting cultural exchanges with a large number of international scientific institutions. The prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, universally acknowledged as the top University in Italy, holds a complete collection of the "Atti della Fondazione Giorgio Ronchi"
I always look for the out of the way place even in one of the most in the way places in the world. One of my favorite short walks (2 km) was from Anacapri's main square, along a paved path carved into the side of Monte Solaro, the island's highest point. Passing secluded small cabins and houses with intensely cultivated vineyards and gardens wedged into the hillside. I soon found myself out of sight and sound of the busy small town with the entire tourist crowd puff gone. I was surrounded only by lemon trees, tiny sunbathing lizards and bees humming among the fragrant flowering bushes. In half an hour, the path arrived at the Belvedere della Migliara, a terrace with views of Capri's lighthouse, and just around the corner the view changed to that of the Faraglioni, rocks outcroppings rising dramatically out of the waves.
But, that is not all this excursions included a stop at a tempting place to eat just minutes from the Miglira, I found myself completely relaxed at Da Gelsomina, a restaurant accessible only by foot. The restaurant's large sheltered terrace overlooks the sea, and get this in hot weather, it even provides an open-air swimming pool.
da Gelsomina (Restaurant)
Via Migliara, 72 - 80071 Anacapri
Tel. +39 081.8371499
The photo is the view anything else to say!!!??
One of the quickest and easiest way to get from the Marina Grande (where the hydrofoils and ferries arrive) and Capri town is by funicolare, a cable railway. The ride takes about 3 minutes and costs 1,30 EU.
The hair-raising boat "ride" into the Blue Grotto is worth the couple of Euro the local fishermen charge. I wish I had a picture, but you'll just have to experience the neon blue effects inside the cave for yourself!