Villa Adriana & Villa D’Este Tour
A walk through the ancient imperial ruins and the fountains of the renaissance gardens
Only a few km from Rome, Tivoli (the ancient Tibur) was founded on the Tiburtina hills even earlier than the Eternal City. This is the place where all the wealthiest families of the imperial period used to build their summer estates so as to bathe in the thermal waters and make the most of the pure and cool air. The emperor Hadrian preferred Tivoli even to the Palatine Hill to build his imperial palace on and centuries later in this same town one of the gems of the Renaissance period was built: the cardinal Ippolito D’Este’s villa, with its gardens and 600 fountains.
Get ready for a long walk …but it will definitely be worth it! Villa Adriana in Tivoli was emperor Hadrian’s estate in the II century,and he designed it himself! The Villa, which is a World Heritage site, extends over 120 hectares and is three times as big as the Vatican State. We will walk through the big and the small thermal baths and we will see the underground city where the slaves worked, well hidden from the emperor’s sight! We will visit the Pecile, the painted portico inspired by the one in Athens, and we will also see the Canopo, from the Egyptian city that bears the same name, and that fascinated the emperor and is still used to this day for spectacular summer concerts. It is impossible to name all the marvels this Villa contains!
Villa D’Este was built by Cardinal Ippolito D’Este, son of Lucrezia Borgia and nephew of pope Alessandro VI Borgia in the XVI century, right in the center of Tivoli. The frescos inside the villa are splendid and the Italian style gardens -designed by Michelangelo’s pupil, architect Pirro Ligorio- are unique. The gardens are developed on 5 levels and this enables the 600 fountains to function with the sole force of gravity and the communicating vessels principle.
Private Guide | Tickets (skip the line) | Meet your Guide at your Hotel or Accommodation
What does our guide Noemi think of the Tivoli tour?
You shouldn’t miss this tour because: the memory of these two villas will never fade.