The Church of San Michele was built in Anacapri on the initiative of Mother Serafina di Dio, a nun from Capri who had earlier founded a convent of the Order of St Teresa.
In 1683, the Turks invaded the Austrian Empire. Austria had been expected to provide a solid bulwark against the advancing forces, but by August they had reached the outskirts of Vienna. Mother Serafina turned her prayers to the Archangel Michael and promised: If you liberate Vienna, I will found a church and a convent in Anacapri to the glory of the Lord in your honour.
On 2 September, the imperial army defeated the Turks and Mother Serafina went to Anacapri to keep her promise, with the aid of a Sardinian gentleman by the name of Antonio Migliacci. Antonio Squillante's chronicle refers to the construction of the church, which took place between 1698 and 1719, also specifying that Migliacci had to pay the considerable sum of fifteen thousand Neapolitan ducats.
On the death of Migliacci, Monsignor Michele Gallo of Vandenejnde (1678-1727), bishop of Capri and a member of the Neapolitan aristocracy, ensured that the work could proceed and determined that, on his own death, he was to be buried in the church, as we can see from a marble inscription behind the High Altar.