It’s a short walk from Piazza della Vittoria, past a long gauntlet of souvenir stalls, to Axel Munthe’s Villa San Michele, a light, airy house with lush and fragrant gardens that is one of the highlights of the island. A nineteenth-century Swedish writer and physician to the elite, Munthe lived here for a number of years, and the place is filled with his furniture and knick-knacks, as well as Roman artefacts and columns plundered from a ruined villa on the site. There’s also an attractive, small natural history exhibition in the gardens, which fills you in on local flora and fauna.

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