Tivoli

The tour will start at around 10.00am, for the trip will take only 30/45 minutes. Our first stage will be the beautiful Villa Adriana. You'll be dropped off at the entrance and the driver will wait for you outside. Once you finish visiting the Villa you'll be driven to the city. In Tivoli you'll have lunch and afterwards the driver will take you to the Villa d'Este. He'll leave you before the entrance and as usual will wait for you. After the visit you can decide to come back to Rome or to visit another villa named Gregoriana. The return to Rome will be 30/45 minutes after the departure from Tivoli.

Villa Adriana

The Villa of the Emperor Hadrian (or Villa Adriana in Italian) at Tivoli, Italy, even in ruined condition is one of the most spectacular Roman gardens of which it is possible still to get a sense by visiting the site. The villa was created at Tibur (modern-day Tivoli) as a retreat from Rome for Emperor Hadrian in the early 2nd century.

Hadrian was said to dislike the palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome, leading to the construction of the retreat. During the later years of his reign, he actually governed the empire from the villa. A large court therefore lived there permanently. A postal service connected them to Rome. Hadrian's villa was a complex of over 30 buildings, covering an area of at least 1 square km (c. 250 acres) of which much is still unexcavated. The villa was the greatest Roman example of an Alexandrian garden, recreating a sacred landscape.

The complex included palaces, several thermae, theatre, temples, libraries, state rooms and quarters for courtiers, praetorians and slaves. One of the most striking and best preserved parts of the Villa are a pool and an artificial grotto which were named Canopus and Serapeum, respectively. An interesting structure in the Villa is the so-called "Maritime Theatre". It consists of a round portico with a barrel vault supported by pillars. Inside the portico was a ring-shaped pool with a central island.

During the ancient times the island was connected to the portico by two drawbridges. On the island sits a small Roman house complete with an atrium, a library, a triclinium and small baths. The area was probably used by the emperor as a retreat from the busy life at the court. Hadrian's Villa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and important cultural and archaeological site. It is also a major tourist destination along with the nearby Villa d'Este and the town of Tivoli.

The Academy of the villa was placed on the 100 Most Endangered Sites 2006 list of the World Monuments Watch because of the rapid deterioration of the ruins.

Villa D'Este

The Villa d'Este is a villa situated at Tivoli, near Rome. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, it is a masterpiece of Italian architecture and especially garden design.

The Villa d'Este was commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este (1509-1572), son of Alfonso I d'Este and Lucrezia Borgia and grandson of Pope Alexander VI. The Villa itself surrounds on three sides a sixteenth-century courtyard sited on the former Benedictine cloister. The fountain on a side wall, framed within a Doric, contains a sculpture of a sleeping nymph in a grotto guarded by d'Este heraldic eagles, with a bas-relief framed in apple boughs that links the villa to the Garden of the Hesperides.

The central main entrance leads to the Appartamento Vecchio, the "Old Apartment" made for Ippolito d'Este, with its vaulted ceilings frescoed in secular allegories by Livio Agresti and his students, centered on the grand Sala, with its spectacular view down the main axis of the gardens, which fall away in a series of terraces.

To the left and right are suites of rooms, that on the left containing Cardinal Ippolito's's library and his bedchamber with the chapel beyond, and the private stairs to the lower apartment, the Appartamento Nobile, which gives directly onto Pirro Ligorio's Gran Loggia straddling the gravelled terrace with a triumphal arch motif.

The garden plan is laid out on a central axis with subsidiary cross-axes of carefully varied character, refreshed by some five hundred jets in fountains, pools and water troughs, supplied by the Aniene, which is partly diverted through the town, a distance of a kilometer, and by the Rivellese spring, which supplies a cistern under the villa's courtyard.

The Villa's uppermost terrace ends in a balustraded balcony with a sweeping view over the plain below. Double stairs flanking the axis lead to the next garden terrace, with the Grotto of Diana, richly decorated with frescoes and pebble mosaic to one side and the central Fontana del Bicchierone ("Fountain of the Great Cup") loosely attributed to Bernini, where water issues from a seemingly natural rock into a scrolling shell-like cup.

This terrace is united to the next by the central Fountain of the Dragons, dominating the central perspective of the gardens, erected for a visit in 1572 of Pope Gregory XIII whose coat-of-arms features a dragon. Central stairs lead down a wooded slope to three rectangular fishponds set on the cross-axis at the lowest point of the gardens, terminated at the right by the water organ and Fountain of Neptune.

Villa Gregoriana

During the Renaissance popes and cardinals did not limit their embellishment program to Rome, and erected several buildings in Tivoli also.

In 1461 Pope Pius II built the massive Rocca Pia to control the always riotous population, and as a symbol of the permanence of papal temporal power here. From the 16th centuries the environs of the city saw further villa construction. The most famous of these is the Villa d'Este, begun in 1549 by Pirro Ligorio for Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este and richly decorated with an ambitious program of frescoes by the Zuccari brothers and other. In 1527 Tivoli was sacked by bands of the supporters of the emperor and the Colonna, important archives being destroyed during the attack.

In 1547 it was again occupied, by the Duke of Alba in a war against Paul IV, and in 1744 by the Austrians. In 1835 Pope Gregory XVI added the Villa Gregoriana, a villa complex pivoting around the Aniene's falls. These were created through a tunnel in the Monte Catillo, to give an outlet to the waters of the Aniene sufficient to preserve the city from inundations like the devastating one of 1826.


Villa Adriana

Tivoli - Villa Adriana
Villa Adriana

The Villa of the Emperor Hadrian (or Villa Adriana in Italian) at Tivoli, Italy, even in ruined condition is one of the most spectacular Roman gardens of which it is possible still to get a sense by visiting the site. The villa was created at Tibur (modern-day Tivoli) as a retreat from Rome for Emperor Hadrian in the early 2nd century.

Hadrian was said to dislike the palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome, leading to the construction of the retreat. During the later years of his reign, he actually governed the empire from the villa. A large court therefore lived there permanently. A postal service connected them to Rome. Hadrian's villa was a complex of over 30 buildings, covering an area of at least 1 square km (c. 250 acres) of which much is still unexcavated. The villa was the greatest Roman example of an Alexandrian garden, recreating a sacred landscape.

The complex included palaces, several thermae, theatre, temples, libraries, state rooms and quarters for courtiers, praetorians and slaves. One of the most striking and best preserved parts of the Villa are a pool and an artificial grotto which were named Canopus and Serapeum, respectively. An interesting structure in the Villa is the so-called "Maritime Theatre". It consists of a round portico with a barrel vault supported by pillars. Inside the portico was a ring-shaped pool with a central island.

During the ancient times the island was connected to the portico by two drawbridges. On the island sits a small Roman house complete with an atrium, a library, a triclinium and small baths. The area was probably used by the emperor as a retreat from the busy life at the court. Hadrian's Villa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and important cultural and archaeological site. It is also a major tourist destination along with the nearby Villa d'Este and the town of Tivoli.

The Academy of the villa was placed on the 100 Most Endangered Sites 2006 list of the World Monuments Watch because of the rapid deterioration of the ruins.

Villa D'Este

Tivoli - Villa D'Este
Villa D'Este

The Villa d'Este is a villa situated at Tivoli, near Rome. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, it is a masterpiece of Italian architecture and especially garden design.

The Villa d'Este was commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este (1509-1572), son of Alfonso I d'Este and Lucrezia Borgia and grandson of Pope Alexander VI. The Villa itself surrounds on three sides a sixteenth-century courtyard sited on the former Benedictine cloister. The fountain on a side wall, framed within a Doric, contains a sculpture of a sleeping nymph in a grotto guarded by d'Este heraldic eagles, with a bas-relief framed in apple boughs that links the villa to the Garden of the Hesperides.

The central main entrance leads to the Appartamento Vecchio, the "Old Apartment" made for Ippolito d'Este, with its vaulted ceilings frescoed in secular allegories by Livio Agresti and his students, centered on the grand Sala, with its spectacular view down the main axis of the gardens, which fall away in a series of terraces.

To the left and right are suites of rooms, that on the left containing Cardinal Ippolito's's library and his bedchamber with the chapel beyond, and the private stairs to the lower apartment, the Appartamento Nobile, which gives directly onto Pirro Ligorio's Gran Loggia straddling the gravelled terrace with a triumphal arch motif.

The garden plan is laid out on a central axis with subsidiary cross-axes of carefully varied character, refreshed by some five hundred jets in fountains, pools and water troughs, supplied by the Aniene, which is partly diverted through the town, a distance of a kilometer, and by the Rivellese spring, which supplies a cistern under the villa's courtyard.

The Villa's uppermost terrace ends in a balustraded balcony with a sweeping view over the plain below. Double stairs flanking the axis lead to the next garden terrace, with the Grotto of Diana, richly decorated with frescoes and pebble mosaic to one side and the central Fontana del Bicchierone ("Fountain of the Great Cup") loosely attributed to Bernini, where water issues from a seemingly natural rock into a scrolling shell-like cup.

This terrace is united to the next by the central Fountain of the Dragons, dominating the central perspective of the gardens, erected for a visit in 1572 of Pope Gregory XIII whose coat-of-arms features a dragon. Central stairs lead down a wooded slope to three rectangular fishponds set on the cross-axis at the lowest point of the gardens, terminated at the right by the water organ and Fountain of Neptune.

Villa Gregoriana

Tivoli - Villa Gregoriana
Villa Gregoriana

During the Renaissance popes and cardinals did not limit their embellishment program to Rome, and erected several buildings in Tivoli also.

In 1461 Pope Pius II built the massive Rocca Pia to control the always riotous population, and as a symbol of the permanence of papal temporal power here. From the 16th centuries the environs of the city saw further villa construction. The most famous of these is the Villa d'Este, begun in 1549 by Pirro Ligorio for Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este and richly decorated with an ambitious program of frescoes by the Zuccari brothers and other. In 1527 Tivoli was sacked by bands of the supporters of the emperor and the Colonna, important archives being destroyed during the attack.

In 1547 it was again occupied, by the Duke of Alba in a war against Paul IV, and in 1744 by the Austrians. In 1835 Pope Gregory XVI added the Villa Gregoriana, a villa complex pivoting around the Aniene's falls. These were created through a tunnel in the Monte Catillo, to give an outlet to the waters of the Aniene sufficient to preserve the city from inundations like the devastating one of 1826.

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