Gardens, Fountains, Renaissance estates and Roman aristocracy
Another great location you absolutely have to consider in your itinerary for things to see when in Rome is Tivoli. This city just south of Rome, hosts the literal hidden gems that so many are looking for.
What’s so special about Tivoli? Thanks to its favorable position, in the countryside and cool during the summer, it has been a favorite vacation destination and residence of many influential figures throughout the centuries. Starting with Roman Emperors all the way to Popes of the Renaissance Era.
What you will see on this tour are two very different definitions of wealth. One the most ancient, displayed in Hadrian’s Villa, a distinctive Roman estate, artistically and architecturally. The Other Villa D’Este, a Reinassance Villa with majestic gardens and dancing fountains and waterfalls.
Also known as simply Hadrian’s Villa, it is one of Italy’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As it was common for Romans to show their lavish lifestyle, this magnificent villa was built for Emperor Hadrian circa 120 aD and it was “simply” his “humble” summer residence. Even if it is in ruins today, there is still nothing simple nor humble about it. In fact the imperial predominance is still quite strong. Walking around in the site, you’ll notice the intriguing, typical roman style architectures, with arches and walls still standing, and pools trimmed with marble and statues everywhere. And what in fact was the Roman concept of leisure and wealth. This place is perfect for a nice walk in nature, through the ruins of this ancient establishment. Perched on a green inlet, where the views are simply breathtaking, you’ll appreciate the majestic predominance of the Imperial times.
Going from one Era to the other, you’ll be catapulted to Renaissance times. Villa D’Este was first idealized back in the 16th Century. It was established in the 1500s by a Cardinal, Ippolito the Second, son of the Duke of Ferrara and Lucrezia Borgia and grandson of Pope Alexander the 6th. Passed on through the centuries by noblemen and religious figures, who all added and removed, decorated and embellished the Villa creating the World wonder we all know and love today. It’s known all over the world for it’s gardens, and glorious artistic fountains, but the entire estate is incredible.
As soon as you set foot in the Villa, you’ll be surely overwhelmed. Entrance from Piazza Trento, an anonimous doorway next to Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. To think this entrance was rarely used, back in the day. Visitors used to access from the garden directly, climbing its layers all the way up to the Villa, for the the glorious views of the area. The entryway used today hosts a door as old as Cardinal Ippolito, to say the least. It is dated 1521, over 500 years old. Quietly safeguarding the inside. Now, as soon as you enter the foyer, you’ll start noticing the frescoes and paintings, and beautifully decorated tapestries. Beautiful vault at the entrance, damaged by the World War 2 bombings, it used to be covered by glorious paintings of scenes from the Old Testament. These particular paintings date back to the late mid-1500s, probably painted by Muziano.
As you leave the foyer, the Hall of the Stories of Solomon, dedicated to the life of King Solomon.
Next is The Courtyard . A beautiful cloister, constructed in the late 1560s, and is surrounded by a gallery. In the Middle of the Courtyard is the Fountain of Venus, the only intact fountain that hasn’t undergone restorations since it’s creation in approx. 1569. A beautiful decorative fountain by Raffaelo Sangallo, is framed by two doric columns, and crowned by a 4th-century marble bust of the Emperor Constantine. With Sleeping Venues as central element.
But we don’t want to spoil the beauty and give out too much information. You’ll have to see and discover it yourself on this private limo tour. Just like other sections of this Villa, the Cardinal Chambers, the Terrace, the Gardens, the Cenacolo, the Fountain of the Tripod, the Fountain of the Four Dragons, the Fountain of the Owl, the Oval Fountain, the fountain of the Organ and so, so much more!
If you are still thinking about seeing the Villas of Tivoli, this is your sign to start planning! You cannot miss the opportunity of visit these beautiful locations on a short ride away from Rome. This Limo Tour is top-notch!