One of the most outstanding constructions at the Island of Capri, Villa Jovis is a remarkable sample of Roman architecture in the first century. The south wing of the building saw administrative use, while the north wing housed living quarters. The east wing and the west wing were meant for receptions and meetings. Constructed by the Roman engineers was also a system for collecting rainwater from the roof of the building and a big cistern for supplying the palace with fresh water. Close to the main building are remains of the signal tower that was used for message exchange with the mainland. The complex can be accessed only by foot and involves a walk of nearly 1,5 miles from Anacapri.
Villa Jovis is located at a secluded spot on Capri Island, and Tiberius' quarters in the East and North of the palace were well-guarded and difficult to reach. The most important of the twelve imperial villas on the island, it was discovered in the XVIII century under the rule of Charles of Bourbon. Built originally as a fortress, it was home to many cisterns designed to collect rainwater. It was used as drinking water and a reservoir for supplying baths located to the south and divided into traditional calidarium, tepidarium and frigidarium. Both the northern and the eastern side of the building were isolated from the rest of the villa, yet connected by the stairways and ramps to the loggia and triclinium.
The remains of Villa Jovis reveal two periods of stratification, the first of them being reflected by use of calcareous stone covered with paint and plaster, and the second being characterized by walls decorated with glass mosaics and the floors covered in marble slabs. Located in the west corner of the villa is a pillar of the arch testifying to the former existence of the connection between Villa Jovis and the lighthouse. The latter served as a signal tower to communicate with the mainland and as an astrological observatory. Destroyed a few days after Tiberius' death, it was rebuilt and remained in operation until the early seventeenth century.
The ruins of the Villa were discovered during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and though most of the findings were lost, some of them can still be seen in the Church of St Stefano, the Archeological Museum of Naples and the Church of St Salvatore. Villa Jovis also features a few later architectural additions, including the Church of St Maria del Soccorso dating back to the eighteenth century.
Apart from the Villa's central body there is the Beacon Tower, established to communicate with the military stationing over Mount St Constanzo that was in communication with Cape Miseno. Due to efficient communication process, Tiberio could rule the empire without moving from the Island for over a decade and managed to organize revenge against opponents who conspired against the Emperor during his absence. After his death, the function of the tower turned to more limited job of beacon for shipping.
In addition to its Villa Jovis, the Island of Capri has much more to offer to its visitors, notably the Marina Piccola, the Belvedere of Tragara, the Blue Grotto and Anacapri among others.