The garden at Villa San Michele lies on a plateau about 300 metres above the sea with a view across the Bay of Naples and the Sorrentine Peninsula with the volcano Mount Vesuvius in the distance. When the weather is clear the island of Ischia can be detected to the north. The garden is not large but is rich in content and variety in terms of both its levels and colours.
The garden still mostly follows Munthe’s intentions. Visitors leave the villa via the colonnade, which becomes a pergola, which in its turn is succeeded by terraces, viewpoints and open areas or more secluded nooks.
A spectrum of brightly coloured plants adds life and colour in contrast to the muted vegetation of cypresses, thuja, ivy, box and mosses. The unroofed colonnade is covered by a wooden trellis across which wisteria spreads out its knobbly branches.
Everywhere pots, amphorae and various art objects have been placed out. Flowers successively come into bloom – camellias, flowering ash, azaleas, wisteria, hydrangeas, roses, agapanthus, busy Lizzie and hundreds of other plants from the Mediterranean region and other parts of the world. The indigenous wild flowers include acanthus, myrtle, broom, rock rose and many others.
The predominant tall tree species are the stone pine, palm and cypress. Thanks to its location and character, the garden remains fresh and green all year round. During the hottest period of summer, shady arbours and airy resting places offer cooler temperatures to the visitor.