Come and discover this delightful small town set at the foot of the Tiburtini Hills, just a short distance from Rome, famous since ancient times for its soothing spring of sulphureous water and the vast quarries of travertine marble. Tivoli is situated along the Aniene river and the riches of its waters favoured over the centuries the construction of large architectural complexes. The most remarkable are: Hadrian’s Villa and Villa D’Este. Let us guide you through these spectacular buildings.
The Villa was built between 118-134 AD by the Emperor Hadrian, as a retreat from Rome, and it today a UNESCO world heritage site.
It’s an exceptional complex of classical buildings and the ruins that we see today can only hint at the grandeur and beauty of this place. It covers over 100 hectares and it’s the largest and most important surviving Roman villa. The villa shows echoes of many different architectural orders but mostly Greek and Egyptian. Come with us to explore the stunning buildings, imperial palaces, pools, thermal baths, libraries and temples, which are belied to be reproductions of similar buildings and monuments that the Emperor Hadrian visited during his extensive travels.
Over the centuries many artists, including Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Borromini visited the ruins for inspiration.
One of the most famous and evocative buildings of the villa is the “Maritime Theatre“. It consists of a round portico with a barrel vault supported by pillars. Inside the portico there is a ring-shaped pool with a central island. On the island sits a small Roman house complete with an atrium, a library, a triclinium and small baths.
Villa D’Este is an enchanting Villa of the late Renaissance. Built in 1550 by the powerful and ambitious Cardinal Ippolito II D’Este, son of Lucrezia Borgia and Alfonso D’Este, following the project of the architect Pirro Liborio. He transformed an old Benedictine Convent into a new garden of Eden with more than 200 marvellous fountains laid out on sloping terraces, with breathtaking waterfalls, centenary trees and vibrant flowers. To build his spectacular villa Ippolito D’Este had much of the marble and statues removed from Hadrian’s Villa.
Some of the most famous fountains are:
-The Organ Fountain (where a perfectly functioning organ was placed)
-The Hundred Fountains
-The Fountain of the Bicchierone ( built by Bernini)