"Villas of Tivoli" Tivoli by davidcross

Tivoli Travel Guide: 172 reviews and 586 photos

First visit - 1998

I was staying in L'Aquila and the weather that day was foul - almost beyond belief. The only real answer was to get well out. Out of the Abruzzo mountains the weather soon improved as I travelled by bus to Rome and I decided on a train back, giving som time for a break at Tivoli before progressing to Avezzano, where I could get a bus back to L'Áquila.

I managed to reach the Villa d'Este and walk through the impressive rooms on the ground floor. I gazed out of the windows onto the gardens below and longed to go down to see the fountains. However he who goes down must come back and I wasn't up to quick ascents at that time. I decided to return one day and see those fountains at the Villa d'Este and to get down to the Villa Adriana as well.

8 years later

Eight years later I took a trip to see some places in Lazio around Rome and the first was Tivoli. I arrived in the afternoon and went immediately to the Villa Adriana [Hadrian's Villa.]

Don't let anybody con you into walking between there and Tivoli. It's easily 5 km each way but, more important, the site is about as big as the excavated town of Pompeii and you can use all the energy you want going around it.

There were 3 sets of baths and extensive areas for libraries and guest quarters as well as the Imperial Palace itself [not now very interesting owing to extensive looting over the years. I think my favourite was the small natural island in a lake where a 'small' house with a drawbridge provided private accommodation when Hadriaan felt solitary. The water itself wouldn't have put off anybody, unless it was full of person-eating fish. However, if you are daft enough to wade across when the mighty emperor has drawn up the bridge - -

Next day - -

At last I was fulfilling my 8 year old intention to pay a second and fuller visit to the Villa d'Este.

I didn't time it right because I missed the Organ Fountain playing but even so it was thoroughly enjoyable. I am putting more photos of both villas on travelogues.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Superb architecture and water features
  • Cons:A tad tiring
  • In a nutshell:Definitely worth some time
  • Last visit to Tivoli: Dec 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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