The Villa San Michele was built around the turn of the 19th century on the Isle of Capri by the Swedish physician and author Axel Munthe.
The villa's gardens have panoramic views of the town of Capri and its harbour, the Sorrentine Peninsula, and Mount Vesuvius. The villa sits on a ledge at the top of the Phoenician Steps, between Anacapri and Capri, at a height of 327 meters above sea level.
San Michele's gardens are adorned with many relics and works of art dating from ancient Egypt and other periods of classical antiquity. They now form part of the Grandi Giardini Italiani.
In his later years, Axel Munthe wrote his haunting youthful memoir The Story of San Michele, which describes how he first discovered the island and built the villa, decorated with the remains of palaces built by the Ancient Romans which he found on his land. This colourfully written book was first published in 1929 and became an immediate worldwide success, being translated into many languages. It has been reprinted many times since then.
Between 1919 and 1920, Munthe was an unwilling landlord to the outrageous socialite and muse Luisa Casati, who took possession of Villa San Michele. This was described by the Scottish author Compton Mackenzie in his diaries.References:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.