Villa Jovis or Iovis (from the Latin Villa di Giove), is located on the summit of Mount Tiberius, in the eastern part of the island of Capri.
Villa Jovis is known for being both the residence of the Roman emperor Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus and the government palace of Rome in the years between 26 and 37 AD.
Discovered by archaeologists Norbert Hadrawa and Amedeo Maiuri, villa Jovis has aroused great interest among scholars from all over the world.
Villa Jovis is strategically located on Mount Tiberius, the eastern promontory of the island, 334 meters above sea level.
From its sublime position, you can see the island of Ischia, Procida, the gulf of Naples, the Sorrento peninsula, and the Gulf of Salerno.
Tiberius and his villa
From this and his other villas on the island, Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus ruled the Empire for eleven years.
There is much speculation on his personality. Some described him as a cruel and unscrupulous despot. The idleness and vices of the court would have induced him to commit excessive brutality, such as having his slaves thrown into the void of the Salto di Tiberius. This and other similar historical malignancies have tainted his image for centuries. Reliable sources instead describe Tiberius as a detached, introverted person. He hardly received guests; much less did he organize gala evenings. He spent whole days in solitude, even giving up the presence of his personal guards.
During his long stay on the island, part of the state offices was transferred from Rome to Capri. Later, other changes became necessary due to the progressive decay of his health and advanced age.
Some scholars claim that Tiberius suffered from tuberculosis, which is why his doctors advised him to stay in coastal areas for a long time. Sea air would have been the indicated therapy.
One of the main causes was his thrift policy, being contrary to the expansionism of the Empire. Tiberius managed to restore the state budget left him by his predecessors.
Realizing that something against him had been going on for some time, he left Rome just in time for a "long convalescence".
The choice to come to Capri and live in Villa Jovis was not accidental, it was precisely because of his safety. Tiberius continued his investiture as emperor, keeping the necessary distance from his conspirators who remained in Rome.
He was fascinated by the wonders of the Mediterranean as evidenced by his long stay in Rhodes dedicated to studies and reflection.
From the Bourbon era onwards, Villa Jovis was rediscovered in the 18th century under the reign of Charles of Bourbon and underwent devastating excavations during which many precious marble floors were removed.
The villa was the subject of a recovery intervention in 1932 directed by the archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri: the rubble that had accumulated again on the ruins of the villa was removed, which resulted in a re-evaluation of the villa itself.
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