Ever since going to the castle in St. Goar last year in Germany, I have been obsessed with ruinous castles! They are generally less crowded and super fun to explore. Italy isn't known for its castles like Germany or England, but I managed to find a few fortress remnants in my research. The journey to Villa Jovis, a palace where Roman Emperor Tiberius once ruled toward the end of his life, began in Capri town and continued up a decent ascent. Once we got out of Capri town the crowds died down, the views grew more impressive, and it felt like we were really wandering around the tiny back roads of Italy. On the way, we passed beautiful flowers, lemon groves, and even a few wild goats that we got friendly with. For the most part, there were signs indicating which direction to head toward the villa, but a map helped us further.
By the time we got up to the Villa, it was just after 1 pm and it had actually just closed. During my research, I had found it was open til 3, so I was super bummed - goes to show you that really can't trust opening hours found on the internet for anything in Europe. Thanks goodness, the guy at the gate was super friendly. We begged him to let us in. He asked if it was our first time to the Villa, and then let us in. Smart guy, I'd want to show off the beauty of a ruinous palace on Capri too! He asked us to go quickly, but we noticed as we continued that the guy had let several others in so we didn't feel as bad about trying to rush through. I would have preferred more time to gaze at the views and traverse every possible path, but we did get to see the entire palace.
The villa was very picturesque, what a perfect spot to rule from! You could see the Amalfi Coast at some points and views of Capri at others. There weren't any secret passages or anything like that, but you could pretty much explore all of the ruins. You could go up to the top where a little church had since been built, you could circle the perimeter, and climb on stone remnants. I'm glad we made it to the Villa! On our way out, we heard someone asking if there was a bus back to town -hah! On those narrow streets?? The path to the Villa is all uphill and the leaving is all downhill, but it is gradual enough that it really wasn't that bad of a walk (tho, this is perhaps where I first aggravated my knee, which would then affect the entire trip after). But the best thing to do in Europe, especially the scenic coastal towns, is to walk everywhere!!
Katherine & Bradley
Two engineers with a passion for food and travel! Join us as we eat our way through the world!