Church of San Michele – Anacapri, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Church of San Michele

An elegant church is home to a remarkably detailed mosaic floor depicting the Garden of Eden. 

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The Church of San Michele, completed in 1727, is a sanctuary of Neapolitan Baroque art. The altar is an elaborate marble structure crafted by Agostino Chirola, and above it is a dramatic depiction of St. Michael the Archangel by Nicola Malinconico. But the most striking feature of the church is its floor, which is covered in a stunningly detailed mosaic by Leonardo Chiaiese called The Expulsion of Adam and Eve.

The titular event takes place in the center of the floor, where an angel orders the couple out of the Garden of Eden. They are surrounded by animals, including a unicorn, waterfowl, camels, and a serpent wrapped around the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Considered one of the finest works of 19th-century Neapolitan Majolica craftsmanship, the mosaic is made of 1,500 tiles and was completed in 1761.

Know Before You Go

To get to the church from the town of Capri, take a bus or taxi up the hills of Anacapri to the Piazza San Nicola. It costs a few Euro to enter the church. Visitors are prohibited from walking on the floor, but there are wooden planks to walk on and the entire piece can be viewed from a balcony.

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