Villa Jovis | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Villa Jovis

Capri, Campania, Italy

About Villa Jovis

Villa Jovis, meaning the Villa of Jupiter, on the island of Capri was the home of the Roman Emperor Tiberius for ten years from 27 AD until his death in 37 AD.

Built by Tiberius in a secluded part of the island amidst cliffs and steep slopes, Villa Jovis was well protected and many historians speculate that this was due to the emperor’s security concerns. Even today, getting to Villa Jovis is tricky and access is only available on foot up a steep hill.

Comprised of a maze of sections, rooms, passageways and corridors, Villa Jovis spanned an area of over 75,000 square feet (7,000 square metres) plus its extensive gardens, which add considerably to its size.

The ruins of Villa Jovis offer an insight into the former grandeur of the complex, with the remains of many of its limestone walls showing an outline of the rooms. From the dining room (triclinium) and the emperor’s apartments to the baths (thermae) and even his astronomical observatory (specularium), Villa Jovis had all the trappings of opulent luxury. Visitors can also see the innovative rain water collection system created for Tiberius, used to provide water to this difficult location.

The position of the site also accounts for the structure of Villa Jovis, the inclines on which it was built requiring it to be set on several levels, which was unusual at the time.