The Tivoli Villas are unanimously considered the highest symbol of the beauty and charm of ancient Tibur. Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Villa Adriana is the archaeological symbol of Tivoli and testifies to the magnificence of the Roman Empire. Built by the emperor Hadrian as an imperial residence, it was accessed through two roads (via Tiburtina, Via Prenestina) or by navigating the Aniene river. In the villa the emperor wanted to reproduce those monuments that during his countless travels, especially in Greece, had fascinated him: the Pecile, a huge garden, surrounded by a portico with a central swimming pool and used for summer and winter walks; the Canopus, a long basin of water decorated with columns and statues which culminates in a temple surmounted by a dome in segments; the Accademia, the ‘secret garden’ of Emperor Hadrian, located on the Esplanade of the Academy, the highest, real Acropolis of the Villa.
Villa d’Este is one of the treasures of Tivoli, a splendid example of Renaissance architecture included by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Sites. The construction of Villa d’Este was commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, governor of Tivoli from 1550, who wanted to revive the splendor of the courts of Ferrara, Rome and Fointanebleau in this villa.
The impressive concentration of fountains, caves and water features represented a model repeatedly emulated in the European gardens of Mannerism and Baroque.
A prominent place occupies the splendid garden of the villa, designed by the painter and architect Pirro Ligorio: articulated between terraces, stairways, avenues and slopes, the garden recalls the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, while the water supply system, with an aqueduct and a tunnel under the city evokes the engineering wisdom of the Romans.
At the end of the tour, you will relax in your comfortable, air-conditioned minivan until the return to your hotel.