In 1895 he bought an old house on Capodimonte in Anacapri, with a wonderful view over the Gulf of Naples and the Sorrento peninsula.
With mastro Vincenzo’s house as a foundation, Munthe built a villa he called San Michele. He also acquired the surrounding property, including the mountain behind the villa with the Barbarossa fortress on its summit. The villa’s creation is depicted somewhat fancifully in “The Story of San Michele”.
Munthe’s eyes were weak, and he suffered from the intensive sunlight at Capodimonte. By 1902 he had acquired another property, Torre di Materita, in the west of the island where the sun wasn’t as strong. It was this old Saracen (Medieval fortress) tower that served as Munthe’s real home on Capri, while for long periods Villa San Michele was leased to others. Over the years Axel Munthe acquired other properties in Anacapri along with a unique position on the island. In 1914 he was named an honourary citizen.
(From Munthe’s Capri, A Pictorial Biography by Bengt Jangfeldt, Translated from the Swedish by Harry D. Watson, Värnamo 2005, p. 15)