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Wednesday 27 March 2019   Saint John Damascene       
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Capri, Villa Jovis History of the villa 

The ruins

Thevilla is set on the top of Tiberio Mountain and is extended on 7000 square metres. During the Empire this villa was adorned by luxurious gardens and woods, so it was even wider than today.
The first excavations to bring it entirely to the light were made during the Bourbons era. Unfortunately all the marble floors and the inlaid woods were stolen. The only example of engraving we still have is kept on the altar in St Stefano Church. Maybe the most enchanting part of this villa is the Belvedere Terrace called Salto di Tiberio (Tiberio's slope). It's set on a fearful precipice, a shear drop to the sea. According an ancient legend Tiberio used to throw his enemies headlong the cliff.
The villa is made by several floors and terraces joined by some stairs. The central part is made by four cisterns built during the Middle Ages to convey the rain water. During Tiberio's age there were the guards' rooms. This area is surrounded by some the Baths.
Tiberio's own rooms are on the west side of the villa, that is to say in the highest part of the building. They were protected from one side by the mountain and the other one faced the sea. Underground passages and passageways led to these imperial rooms: they were projected for its Majesty safety. Through a long passage Tiberio reached his imperial terrace, a magnificent construction along the perimeter of the western side of the villa, from which he enjoyed a breathtaking view.


Napoli e dintorni
, guida d'Italia del TCI, Milano, 1960.


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