Villa San MicheleAxel Munthe was only 19 when he arrived in Capri for the first time; a visit that would change his life forever. In The Story of San Michele he describes how he walked up the so called Phoenican Steps, 777 in all, reached Capodimonte (lit. the top of the mountain) and immediately decided that this was the place where he wanted to build his home.
In those days the land belonged to a master carpenter, Mastro Vincenzo, who lived in a simple house with a workshop surrounded by terraces for vines, fruit trees and, at the top, the ruins of a medieval chapel.
In 1895 Munthe was ready to make his dream come true. At 38, he had a successful career. He had divorced his first wife, Ultima Hornberg, and had recently been appointed the personal physician to Queen Victoria of Sweden. Villa San Michele began to take shape.