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Palazzo a Mare

      One of the most important Roman villas on Capri lies in the area known as Palazzo a Mare. Covering a vast area from Punta Bevaro to Bagni di Tiberio beach, the villa complex follows the typical Roman seaside villa plan which sees several buildings scattered over the area in panoramic positions and surround-ed by nature. Built by Emperor Augustus and later modified by Tiberius, in the 18th century the villa was plundered and looted by the Austrian Hadrawa who took flooring, capitals and marble slabs. Villa di Palazzo a Mare underwent further damage during the French occupation at the beginning of the 19th century when the central build-ing was transformed into an arms station and fort. Building activity has transformed the aspect of the original constructions so much that nothing remains of the ancient imperial abode but small stretches of walls and terracing, a few reservoirs and occasional ruins of the residential quarters. Furthermore a lack of detailed study of these few remaining elements means no single overview of the complex is available, however superficial analysis seems to show that the foundations and water supply were constructed according to a single plan and cannot be attributed to different stages.
Peplophoros      According to Maiuri, the modest residential quarters lay in the area of the fortress. Although the fort-ress was later transformed into a private villa, various elements of the original villa such as reservoirs, a marble-covered impluvium (trough for catching rainwater) and remains of mosaic flooring can still be recognized. Furthermore, many of the marble fragments belonging to the Bismarck collection were almost certainly part of the decoration of the villa. Detached sleeping quarters and areas for the enjoyment of natural beauty were constructed in a large natural area alongside the residential quarters, while a large xystus garden - in which the emperor was able to take his daily walk - surrounded by several small buildings was planted in the area where the old football ground now stands. A ramp with marble steps at the centre led to a large seaside nymphaeum and exedra. This area also includes several ponds, probably used for fish farming, as well as other structures such as a landing stage and an underground plant supplying the fish ponds. The area of the new football pitch was probably a natural area.

Palazzo a Mare area

The sea side area.

Altar dedicated to Ceres
(Capri, Soprintendenza Archeologica)

Villa di Damecuta

Villa Jovis

Villa di Gradola - Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto)

 (text by Roberta Belli - Photographs by Marco Amitrano)