Capri Villa Jovis
The most magnificent of all Emperior Tiberius' island residences.
Villa Jovis is situated at the end of Viale Amedeo Maturi, where one finds a number of steps faced with marble slabs originating from the Roman Villa. Villa Jovis, built in the first century B.C. and attributed to Tiberius, was chosen for its position on the cliff's edge which guaranteed both privacy and security, of vital importance to the Emperor.
A considerable percentage of the Roman villa remains, a villa which was built with large cisterns and water tanks, so as to counteract the perennial lack of water on the island of Capri. Villa Jovis was organized in sections linked by corridors, stairs and passageways. The Emperor had a North facing apartment with views over the Gulf of Naples; to the East there was the section dedicated to official functions; the baths were to the South and to the West the servants accommodation and lavatories were located. Tiberius's Villa extended over 5.500 square meters and was built up on various levels, unusual for the period, but made necessary by the location.
At the end of the avenue which leads to the villa there is the famous "Tiberius's Leap", place where, according to local legend, disobedient servants and undesired guests were hurled over the cliff by order of the Emperor. The furnishings and decorative features have been gradually removed over the centuries; placed in museums or used to decorate Royal palazzo, with some materials, such as the marble paving, even sold by weight.
The Villa Jovis complex was officially inaugurated in 1937, after excavation work carried out by the Archaeologist Amadeo Maiuri following strict scientific criteria. Within the site boundaries of Villa Jovis one finds the small Church of Santa Maria del Soccorso. In the space in front of the church there is a statue of the Madonna, visible from the sea below.
The simplest route to Villa Jovis
From Piazza Umberto I (Piazzetta di Capri) take Via Le Botteghe, followed
by Via Fuorlovado, Via Croce and Via Tiberio.