Tivoli, a tiny city located only 20 miles east of Rome holds two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Emperor Hadrian’s Villa and the Renaissance Villa D’Este. On this tour we’ll visit both.
Hadrian’s Villa, a large archeological site, in the past was Emperor Hadrian’s palace. Originally it was meant to be a place of retreat from the stress and chaos of everyday life in Rome but from 128 AD the villa became Hadrian’s permanent residence and it was from here that he’d run the empire.
After the fall of Rome slowly the building was plundered of its treasures and peeled of its marbles and mosaics and covered with earth. Starting from the XVIth century spontaneous digs unearthed some sections but it was only in the modern times that the site was properly excavated and put to security.
Not far from here, on the center of the medieval Tivoli stands the spectacular renaissance Villa d’Este. It takes name from the name of its founder, the erudite Cardinal Ippolito II D’Este. Built on the slopes of the Tiburtine hill the villa is famous for its amazing garden with countless fountains supplied by an XVI century aqueduct supplied directly by the Aniene River.