Tiberius’ Leap and Villa Jovis: the ancient history on Capri
The island of Capri, located not far from the Amalfi Coast, is a stunningly beautiful destination that has been attracting tourists for centuries. From its breathtaking views to its ancient ruins and charming villages, there’s something for everyone on this Italian paradise. And two of the most popular attractions are Tiberius’ Leap and Villa Jovis.
Both sites offer an insight into ancient Roman history. From the stories behind Tiberius’ Leap to the ruins at Villa Jovis, visitors can learn about one of Italy’s most iconic emperors. Visitors will also have a chance to appreciate majestic views and landscapes which would have been appreciated by the Roman emperor himself. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!
Who was the Roman Emperor Tiberius?
Tiberius was the second Roman Emperor, who ruled from 14 AD to 37 AD. He is most famous for his lengthy and oppressive rule, as well as his cruelty and paranoia.
Born in Rome in 42 BC, Tiberius was a successful military commander before ascending to the throne upon the death of Augustus, his stepfather. During this time he moved away from Rome, living mostly on the island of Capri until his death. It was here that Tiberius built Villa Jovis and “discover” the Leap.
What is Tiberius’ Leap?
Tiberius’ Leap is is a precipice overlooking the sea, located on the island’s north-eastern coast, near Villa Jovis.
Legend has it that the emperor used to throw enemies, slaves, lovers and even those condemned to death off this precipice. Not content with that, once in the water, the victims were struck by soldiers with oars.
Today, the sheer drop of almost 300 mt (more than 150 feet) down into the sea is both thrilling and beautiful, with stunning views of the Bay of Naples spread out below it. It is definitely one of the most spectacular viewpoints on the whole of Capri.
You can reach the Salto di Tiberio by going along Via Tiberio. From the centre of Capri it takes half an hour on foot. Once you get to the Leap, you will find a sort of little terrace overlooking the precipice.
What is Villa Jovis?
Villa Jovis (or Villa of Tiberius) is the ruins of an ancient Roman villa situated high on the steep cliffs of Capri. Built by the emperor Tiberius in 27 AD, it served as a place of retreat where he could escape from Rome and enjoy peace and solitude. It’s easy to see why he chose this spot – with breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding landscapes, it’s an idyllic location for a retreat.
Visitors to Villa Jovis will be able to explore the ruins, including several large courtyards, gardens, and baths that still remain from ancient times. The ruins cover an area of about 25,000 square metres, spread out over terraces cut into the mountain side. There are several buildings to explore, including private apartments for the Emperor and his entourage, as well as a temple dedicated to Jupiter (Jovis, in Latin). In addition, there are stunning views across the Bay of Naples that are simply breathtaking– perfect for taking pictures!
You can reach Villa Jovis on foot starting from the Piazzetta and walking along Via Longano, Via Sopramonte and Via Tiberio. Otherwise, always starting from the Piazzetta, take Via Le Botteghe, Via Fuorlovado, Via Croce and Via Tiberio. We recommend you wear comfortable shoes, a hat and bring water: the road is all uphill and it takes about 45 minutes to reach the Villa. Remember also that there is an entrance fee to the ruins (6.00 Euro).
If you’re looking for luxury accommodation for a truly unforgettable vacation, check out our incredible villas for rent on the Amalfi Coast.