The Romans were not so keen as the modern on sea bathing, and in their view the Anacapri highland, because of its greater altitude and its more open exposure to westerly and northwesterly winds was the most suitable place for a summer resort in a sea climate and at moderate height .
With the wooded side of Monte Solaro gently sloping down, with its clusters of oak trees , junipers , myrtles and broom and its scattered little houses , Anacapri seemed to them like a little Arcadia cut off from the rest of the island by a rocky pass. An aerial solitude whose secret and delicate fascination must have appealed to Tiberius rather than to Augustus .
Possibly Augustus may have walked up from his sea side Villa of " Palazzo a Mare" to the Belvedere of the Villa Capodimonte, where both the pass and the boundary were between two different worlds, that of Capri and that of Anacapri, but it was Tiberius who searched for further shelters within that unknow Arcadia . Discarding the centre of the ancient dwellings of Anacapri, as too closely clinging to the mountain side and too far from the sight of the sea, he chose the small plateaus and terraces along the edge of the highland where the villas and the farmhouses of Tiberino, Vitareto, Aiano and Monticello were built, but his own imperial residence was to rise in aplace that offered a wider panorama and was less laboriously reached from the sea, namely in the Villa Damecuta.
Excavations were begun at the Damecuta in 1937, when the Villa Jovis works of uncovering and repair were completed. They were interrupted and several times resumed up to 1948. To Dr. Axel Munthe much preise is due, for, by donating to the Italian Governament the Tower and the land next to it which he owned , he rendered possible the esploration and settlement of the most important section of the villa.
Unfortunatley the conditions of remains shows that the villa was subjected to a deliberate work of descructions, which was carried out here as well as at "Palazzo a Mare" in order to build fortifications and barracks on the flatland commanding the channel between Capri and Procida during the Bourbon restoration and the re-occupations and, later, by local farmers and escavators; but from the remains which were uncovered during more recent excavations and from the existence of colummns of the finest Greek marbles it may be inferred that the Villa di Damecuta was as richly adorned with marble floors, stuccoes, decorative paintings and fine works of art, as the largest among the imperial villas on the island. Anyone reachind the level ground and the Torre Damecuta by the uncomfortable if picturesque mule paths of Anacapri, and even by the short foot path leading from the new carriage road to the ruins, cannot but wonder about the ancient way of approach to the Villa.
Doubtlessly as long as Anacapri was connected with principal centre merely throught a mountain pass and with the harbour only by the so - called "Scala Fenicia" the easiest and quickest approch was from the sea: when the sea was calm a landing was possible at the Punta di Gradola or delle Gradelle where various cleavages in the rock attest the existence of some mooring and landing arrangements; the first resting place was by the small Roman Villa standing above the rocky voult of the blue Grotto, where the emperor could be carried by litter up to the height of promontory and the Villa Damecuta . This was the way that was also used to carry up the materials during the building. The Villa standing on an unsheltered piece of level land , was exposed to the cool westerly winds, and was inhabited mainly during the summer months, for all kinds of official residence must have ceased at the first announcement of the autumn equinoxial storms. Notwithstanding the destructions,the most significant parts of the villa were found to be still well preserved during the excavations, and namelly the building of the Belvedere that stretched along the edge of level ground from one end to the other of the promontory a plan that faithfully reproduced that of the imperial Loggia of Villa Jovis. The most peculiar apartament of the Villa, however, was uncovered under the mediaeval Tower, almost gripped to tha precipitous slope of the headland. There is an alcove under the Tower which is preceded by a vestible and by a belvedere balcony hanging above the abyss; further to the west , under the Loggia, that are two large dwelling rooms. Bearing in mind tha way in which Tiberius managed to confine himself in his private quarters apart from the rest of the Villa, one recognizes in this tiny apartment, the secret refuge Tiberius himself preferred while residing at Damecuta , situed to a dremer of romantic age rather than to an emperor. An unforeseen discovery makes a certainty of this possibility. In the vestibule of the cubicle a fine torso of an ephebic nude has been discovered during recent excavations, representing a Narcissus or a Yakintos. And as both Pliny and Suetonius attest the liking Tiberius had for art and to his habit of adorning his cubicle with victorial and sculptorial masterrpieces, the discovery of the Torso of a youth excellently executed, in the cubicle of imperial villa of Damecuta cannot be ascribed to change. The Villa Damecuta was abandoned before the other villas in Capri. The Vesuvian cinder drift that was banked up against the walls of the Loggia shows that the Villa must have been hit and damaged by the cinders during the eruption of 79 a. D. and abandoned then so as to become slowly a heap of ruins. Above the imperial cubicle a paunchy and stumpy look-out tower was raised and it was hit by the artillery missiles fired by the fleet of Joachim Murat against the barracks of the English troops when Capri was taken in 1808.

How to reach
From Anacapri, Piazzale Cimitero, by public bus or, from Piazza Vittoria, by taxi (10 mins.).
From Piazza Vittoria, follow Via Pagliaro and Via Tuoro (30 mins.).

Opening time
10.00-12.00 / 17.00-19.00
Closed on Monday

Opening time in winter
10.00-13.00 / 14.30-17.00
Closed on Monday

Free entrance