Villa Jovis

  • admin
  • 12-05-2020
Island of Capri, Campania, off the Italian mainland
Villa Jovis aka the Debauchery Palace
  • o Situated on Monte Tiberio on the northeast corner of Capri
  • o The site lies 334m. above the Mediterranean
  • o Residence of Rome’s 2nd Emperor, Tiberius from 27 AD to 37 AD
  • o The footprint covers over 7,000 m2 (70,000 sf) and it is estimated that the villa was in excess of 125,000 sf in size.
  • o It’s almost 2,000 years old !!!!!!!!

Classical – Roman


Situated on the 2nd highest point on Capri, Villa Jovis overlooks the mainland from its closest location, some 2 km distant.


The era representing the height of the Roman empire saw an unprecedent flurry of t construction of seaside villas in the vicinity of Naples by the nobility as a means of escaping the oppressive heat of the Rome summers and constant intrigue and restlessness of the public at large. To name a few, Villa at Villazano (attributed to Augustus), Pipiano Villa, Pollio Felice Villa and Villa Agrippa Posthumus.

Emperor Tiberius came to power in 14 AD and the period of his reign from 14AD to 26 AD were known as the “good years” (Tacitus). Becoming more and more paranoid about his safety, he commissioned the building of Villa Jovis and occupied it as his principal residence from 27 AD to 37 AD upon his death of alleged natural causes.

He ruled Rome from here during this time and his absence from the city lead to wide-spread dislike by the citizens of Rome. The palace served many purposes:

  • – Principal residence and second seat of Roman power;
  • – In dispensing with people who fell out of favor, it is said that he had them
  • dismissed by pushing them off Salto di Tiberio (Tiberian Leap);
  • – Rumors spread through Rome of certain activities that were found offensive. Quoting from a brief monologue on Tiberius, “displaying such imagination in the invention of unprecedented sexual pastimes that eager chroniclers found themselves constrained to devise a whole new terminology.”

Of note, prior to Tiberius’ death, Caligula was exiled here and participated in many of the activities “du jour”.

  • – Villa Jovis was the 1st Roman Imperial Palace
  • – This site is almost 2,000 years old !
  • – Roman ingenuity and largesse knew no boundaries
Other Readings:

“Pompeii, Heraculaneum and Capri” De Franciscus and Bragantini


Allan Ross

ArchitologyTM is a registered trademark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *