Axel Munthe, the son of a chemist, was born in Oskarshamn in 1857 and grew up in Vimmerby and Stockholm. After completing a degree in medicine and philosophy at Uppsala University in 1876, he was sent in the autumn of that same year to Menton on the French Riviera for the sake of his lungs. It was in this connection that he first visited Capri.
What persuaded the young medical student to take off to Capri as soon as he had left Sweden? In northern Europe, including Sweden, romantic notions of Italy flourished, and naturally they inspired Munthe too. But why Capri in particular?