Villa San Michele
The Villa San Michele is a villa that the Swedish poor and fashion doctor and writer Axel Munthe had built in Anacapri on the island of Capri in the 1890s. The villa and its construction are a central theme of the bestseller The Book of San Michele from 1929.
Munthe was fulfilling a dream that he had cherished for years, since he had seen the ruins of a small chapel on what would later be his property. According to his autobiography, he built the Villa San Michele without the help of professional architects; in fact, he had only kept silent about the architect. It is located in an area where the Roman emperors, especially Tiberius , once owned their villas, as Munthe mentions in his book.
The building with its open transitions between house and garden (in Munthes words: "My house must be open to wind and sun and the voice of the sea [...] - and light, light, light everywhere!") Is typical of the era around 1900, which is also expressed in the life reform as well as the artist colonies of Monte Verità and the Skagen painters . According to Munthes biographer Thomas Steinfeld , "this white house [...] right down to the architectural detail [...] is a building that is entirely committed to the pathos of truth of the turn of the century before last: a mighty gesture in front of a mighty backdrop". Munthe collected ancient art treasures there and set up a bird sanctuary in the area after he had seen the extent of the hunt for songbirds on the island. The eccentric animal rights activist also kept other animals, including a monkey, on his property.
Based on Munthe's will, Villa San Michele now belongs to the Swedish state . It is a famous tourist attraction and is open to cultural events.
- Andrea Nastri: CapriGuida. Itinerari di architettura sull'isola azzurra 1800–1970. Clean, Napoli 2011, ISBN 978-88-8497-201-9 , pp. 98 f.
- Thomas Steinfeld: The doctor from San Michele. Axel Munthe and the art of giving life a meaning. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-446-20844-5 , pp. 136-146.
- Thomas Steinfeld: The doctor from San Michele. Axel Munthe and the art of giving life a meaning. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 2007, pp. 136–146.