"Tivoli - UNESCO World Heritage Site" Top 5 Page for this destination Tivoli by nicolaitan
Tivoli Travel Guide: 172 reviews and 586 photos
Tivoli, 25 miles east of Rome is renowned both for the Villa d'Este with its marvelous fountains and statuary as well as for the ancient ruins of Hadrian's villa. From the time of the Roman Empire, this town was a vacation resort for wealthy Romans as well as a site for worship of the Roman gods. What may be the most famous of all Italian villas was constructed for Cardinal Ippolito II d"Este, both a cardinal and an amateur archeologist. After his failed attempt at the Papacy, Pope Julius III declared him governer of Tivoli because governers could not leave their province, thereby removing him from the politics of the Vatican. From 1550 until his death in 1572 he created, using the greatest talents of Rome, a fabulous terraced garden with multiple water features. 90 percent of the Aniene river, a branch of the Tiber, was diverted to these gardens by an underground aqueduct and the height of the fountain effects was governed by the diameters of the openings thru which the water flowed. The magnificent Villa Hadriana lies on a plateau near Tivoli, a huge complex built by the early 2nd Century emperor. Both sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
This remarkable man was the son of Lucretia Borgia and the grandson of Pope Alexander VI, an heritage of which very few could boast. He was a bishop at the age of 2, an archbishop at 10 and a cardinal at 30. His vicious rivalry with Julius III led to what was effectively an exile at age 41. For the last 22 years of his life, this intelligent and learned man created a dream world for himself in the form of his villa and gardens.
Spanish-born Hadrian became emperor (117-138 AD) after being adopted by the dying Trajan, also a Spaniard. The Roman nobles were unhappy with another foreign-born leader and grew considerably more unhappy as four of Hadrian's competition were murdered in the 1 year interval before the new emperor arrived. He was not warmly received and chose to live not in the city but on a large villa 25 miles east of Rome near Tivoli. He constructed a large villa and surrounding complex on as many as 500 acres. Villa Hadriana became the imperial residence. It is believed that the villa really resembled a city with buildings of several stories as well as baths, barracks, libraries, and pavilions, but all that can be seen now are ruins in a park-like setting. As many as 30 or more large buildings are known to have existed.
The function of many buildings and the symbolism of the many artificial ponds has been lost to time. Many of the statues... more travel advice
Every turn in the pathway leads to a remarkable new vista combining the pathways between fountains, the fountains... more travel advice
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