Villa Jovis is a Roman palace on Capri, southern Italy, built by emperor Tiberius and completed in AD 27. Tiberius mainly ruled from there until his death in AD 37.

Villa Jovis is the largest of the twelve Tiberian villas on Capri mentioned by Tacitus. The entire complex, spanning several terraces and a difference in elevation of about 40 m, covers some 7,000 m² (1.7 acres). While the remaining eight levels of walls and staircases only hint at the grandeur the building must have had in its time, recent reconstructions have shown the villa to be a remarkable testament to 1st-century Roman architecture.

The north wing of the building contained the living quarters, while the south wing saw administrative use. The east wing was meant for receptions, whereas the west wing featured an open-walled hall (ambulatio) which offered a scenic view towards Anacapri.

As water was difficult to come by where the villa was built, Roman engineers constructed an intricate system for the collection of rainwater from the roofs and a large cistern that supplied the palace with fresh water.

South of the main building there are remains of a watch tower (specula) for the quick telegraphic exchange of messages with the mainland, e.g. by fire or smoke.

Access to the complex is only possible on foot, and involves an uphill walk of about two kilometres from Capri town.



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Via Tiberio 79, Capri, Italy
See all sites in Capri


Founded: 27 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy


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User Reviews

JP (7 months ago)
The trek here was a bit of a challenge (It's the second highest point in Capri) due to how steep the sidewalk is. It can get quite hot so hydrate and take a hat and sunscreen if you're visiting during the summer months. The ruins are not in the best shape and it appears not to be maintained considering the 6€ fee. There's limited signage as to what you're looking at and there were no guide's available either. The views are amazing from here as well but I do wish there was some more informational signs to learn or understand it a bit more especially after such a long walk! I can't imagine the Roman empire was controlled from this very location!
Vlad Cadar (7 months ago)
Beautiful ruins of a very interesting villa. Some parts were closed, however, there was still plenty to see. The views from up there are also great. The walk there is not very long, and despite it being uphill, it's not that strenuous. There's also a restaurant with great views on the way if you need a rest and/or a drink and food. Also along the way there is a park with even more spectacular views of the sea, cliffs, and the island.
Kami Miller (11 months ago)
Though it is quite a climb up steep streets and hundreds of ancient stairs cases thru the town of Capri from Piazza Umberto and then up thru small mountain villages with gorgeous, secluded villas, terraced backyard farms of artichokes, lemon trees, and colorful flower beds, the ruins of Emporer Tiberius', luxury palace, Villa Jovi, set on top of the Rocky spur of Monte Tiberio, is worth the effort. Plus, there are a few bars, restaurants, markets, and cafes to stop at along the way, even a 5Star Michelin restaurant called Da Tonino. Views are amazing and you can detour to Arc National Park for stunning rock formations and views of Gulf of Naples and the Isle of Ischia
Dustin Witkiewicz (11 months ago)
Great ruins of the castle. We have also seen 3 tiny goats. The gates was closes so we had to go around.
Anthea Johnson (12 months ago)
This is an incredible place, and absolutely worth the hike. The views are incredible and you get to walk right inside the ruins. Definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. However, be aware that the entry fee is 6€ and CASH ONLY so make sure you get some cash before you hike all the way up, since there's really no other places nearby to get cash once you leave the main square.
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In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.

The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.

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Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.