AXEL ii: Love at San Michele

Was it Axel or was it Villa San Michel?
If ever there seemed to be an atmosphere that would inspire love it would have to be this one-OttoLine thought it was magical.

The red granite Sphinx

I was led through the House that was to be Mine. 

It was a fairy Palace, perfect in everything, Made of Marble with Blue tiles under Foot and a little Fountain festooned with green garlands and Flowers and a hanging olive oil Lamp like Magic Spirits.

As I wandered through the rooms I was RAvished by the magic Beauty... I walked on rarefied air in this enchanted land, and was transported by this strange and wonderful Place.

Dr Munthe's own house was within a few yards of the one he had lent Me. We had our Meals with Him, and listened to HIM playing the Piano which he did very well.

 Rooms at his VILLA

We sat in his gardens, where there were pergolas made of Roman and Greek pillars that had been found in the depths of the SEA near the island, and were the remains of a VILLA of TIbErius.

Hilda and my old maid Ellen were convinced I was bewitched by this ARchFiend, this Satyr this Necromancer...The magic of the Place turned to sinister sorcery.

The year was 1898.
Ottoline had yet to find the man that she would spend her life with-but Axel was enthralled, as was Ott. The pair parted with things unsettled- 

& then began the long an dreary journey across the desert of ordinary life; all was grey and colourless and lonely. i was burnt up by the agony of desire, by my love of this man who had wakened it all so pervadingly in me.

images from JoeLLe Lifestyle here
& ItaLian NoteBook here


  1. How did she EVER leave!? Can't wait to hear how this came to a close.

  2. Grouchy-I think she would have settled on the place-and possibly the man, if only. There is so much in depth Ottoline during her Italian trips. She would return many many times-obviously the Villa & her early travels made a lasting impression. pgt

  3. That Villa would make a lasting impression. The location & views are just magnificent. I visited six years ago... wish I knew then about Ottoline.

  4. Sandra, how wonderful. Just another PLACE to add to my MUST GO list. It seems from what I read about it the Magic is still there. pgt