Visit to the remains of the spectacular summer residence of Emperor Adrian, one of the most suggestive places of Ancient Rome, and to a splendid Renaissance residence: the famous villa of Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, son of Lucrezia Borgia, with its many fountains.
Info & Booking
- Throughout the tour, you will be guided by an expert in History or Art history, Archeology or Architecture, who will help you to discover our Rome.
- You can choose the language you prefer...we have 5 different languages available!
- Tour departs from Villa Adriana.
- It is a 2 hours long tour with a private guide inside the Borghese Museum and gallery (one extra hour might be added without extra cost to visit the park if weather conditions allow it).
- Tour is available from Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 17:00, each hour
- Tour must be reserved with 2 weeks in advance
- Entrance tickets for the archaeological sitess:
- Hadrian's Villa
- Villa d'Este, tickets to be purchased at the spot
About 30 km east of the city center of Rome lies bucolic Tivoli.
Take a day trip to where the Aniene river creates falls as it leaves
the Sabine hills. Tivoli has been refuge for the rich and powerful
since the olden days – and you will understand why! Your expert guide
will introduce you to the two main attractions in Tivoli – Emperor
Hadrian's Villa Adriana, and the Renaissance jewel famous for its garden
of wonders, the Villa d'Este.
Built as a private summer retreat between 118 and 134 AD, Hadrian's
Villa was from its beginnings a vast open-air museum for the finest
architecture of the Roman world. The grounds of the Imperial palace
covered an area of 120 hectares (300 acres) and were filled with
full-scale reproductions of the emperor's favorite buildings in Greece
and Egypt. Although excavations on this site began as early as the 16th
century, many of the ruins scattered in the surrounding fields have yet
to be identified.
The grounds of the villa make a very picturesque site for a picnic, with scattered fragments of columns lying among olive trees and cypresses. For an idea of how the whole complex would have appeared in its heyday, take a look at the scale model in the building beside the parking lot. The most important buildings are signposted and several have been partially restored or reconstructed. One of the most impressive is the so-called Maritime Theater, a round pool with an island in the center, surrounded by columns. The island, reached by means of a swing bridge, was probably Hadrian's private studio, where he withdrew from the cares of the Empire to indulge in his two favorite pastimes – painting and architecture.
There were also theaters, Greek and Latin libraries, two bath houses, extensive housing for guests and the palace staff, and formal gardens with fountains, statues, and pools. Hadrian also loved Greek philosophy, and one part of the gardens is thought to have been Hadrian's reproduction of the Grove of Academe, where Plato lectured to his students. He also had a replica made of the Stoà Poikile, a beautiful painted colonnade in Athens, from which the Stoic philosophers took their name. This copy enclosed a great piazza with a central pool. The so-called Hall of the Philosophers close to the Poikile was probably a library. The most ambitious of Hadrian's replicas was the Canopus, a sanctuary of the god Serapis near Alexandria.
In 1550 Cardinal Ippolito d'Este was appointed Governor of Tivoli. He wasted no time in taking possession of the Governor's palace, located in a former Benedictine monastery, which he asked Pirro Ligorio to remodel to his taste.
The Villa d'Este's fame, however, is due more to its gardens than to the building itself. Each alley, path, or avenue reveals a new mossy fountain in a carefully landscaped vista - there are nearly five hundred fountains altogether. This most famous of Italian-style gardens, which has been widely imitated, reverberates with the sound of so many fountains that it inspired the Romantic composer Franz Liszt to write a piano suite called "Fountains of the Villa d'Este".
Before You Book
PLEASE NOTE: Immediately after submitting an order, you will receive two emails. The first email contains your order summary (this one you receive immediately after placing your order), the second email confirms your successful payment (one business day after placing the order). In order to receive these two emails, please make sure that you enter your email address correctly and check that antispam or antivirus filters do not block emails from our [email protected] address. Users of AOL, Comcast and Sbcglobal.net need to pay special attention to this, please. Vouchers will also be available, one business day after the request, at your dashboard.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The time you select on the order form is your preferred time. The closest available time, which can be anytime during opening hours on the selected date, will be automatically confirmed if your preferred time is no longer available.
All client cancellations must arrive up to 8 days before the date of the tour/course/service to be reimbursed free of charge.
If you cancel 8 to 2 days before the date, 10% of the fee will have to be paid.
From two days prior to the tour/course/service beginning, the payment of the entire amount will be due and no reimbursement will be granted.
No refund will be granted to any client who is not at the place of departure at the time established. Similarly, no refund will be granted to clients who lose contact with the guide or who do not complete the excursion or service.