Find us
Guided tours
Virtual guided tour

Phoenician Steps

Villa San Michele

Villa San Michele
The Museum
The Collection
Luisa Casati Stampa

Axel Munthe

The Royal Connection
The Story of San Michele
Historic Photo Album
Axel Munthe Today
Munthe’s BBC Program

The Garden

The Garden
The Gardener
Rare Plants
Prizes and Mentions
Barbarossa the Castle

The Foundation

The Foundation
The Board


Café & Events

Billy's Bar
Private Events at Villa San Michele
The Museum Shop

Cultural events

Cultural events
Collaborations and links


Phoenician Steps

“We reached at last the top of the seven-hundred and seventy-seven steps and passed through a vaulted gate with the huge iron hinges of its former drawbridge still fastened to the rock. We were in Anacapri.

Just over our heads riveted to the steep rock like an eagle’s nest, stood a little ruined chapel. Its vaulted roof had fallen in, but huge blocks of masonry shaped into an unknown pattern of symmetrical network, still supported its crumbling walls.

— What is the name of the little chapel? I asked eagerly.
— San Michele.”

Axel Munthe, The Story of San Michele, chapter 1

The history of Villa San Michele is connected to the Phoenician Steps, a path that leads directly to the Villa's doorstep from the port of Capri. The Greeks created this path between the seventh and sixth centuries BC, and for a long time, it was the only way to reach Anacapri. The staircase also became a symbolic journey for Axel Munthe. As he walked up the Phoenician Steps toward what would become Villa San Michele, he began to envision his dream home by transforming the ruins of the old chapel.

Today, the Phoenician Steps consist of over nine hundred steps. It climbs about 350 meters and is considered one of the most beautiful landscape routes on the island.