Place of Interest
Tivoli Villa Adriana


Magnificent villas and trick fountains

The lively town of Tivoli was already a popular resort in antiquity and is still a popular destination for day-trippers from Rome. The main reason for this is the magnificent villas that have adorned the townscape since antiquity. The impressive ruins of the gigantic residence of the Emperor Hadrian deserve as much attention as the romantic gardens of the Villa Gregoriana and the water fountains of the Villa d'Este. There is little to see in the town itself save for a beautiful triptych from the 14th Century and Gothic rosettes in the façade of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The main attractions are the three famous villas of the town.

Trick fountains at the Villa d'Este

Cardinal Ippolito d'Este initiated in 1550 the construction of the Villa d'Este with its trick fountains. To allow sufficient clearance for the villa a part of the city, including several churches, was destroyed. 10 years later, Pope Pius V was then the first who was able to experience the trick fountains with their elaborate hydraulic system. Unfortunately the villa and garden are in a very bad condition. The outstanding frescoes are somewhat heavily damaged and the furniture is no longer available either. The elaborate fountain construction in the garden has existed in its present form for the past 400 years. The impressive water fountains and the elaborate fountain and cascade system compensate for their bad condition. A most charming spectacle in the summer months is a walk through the park in the evening, when the fountains are illuminated from 9 p.m.

Villa Gregoriana: Romantic gardens in Tivoli

An absolute highlight for a leisurely summer stroll is the natural park of the Villa Gregoriana. The caves, waterfalls and temples along the way are popular motifs of numerous artists from various eras. On the footpath, surrounded by forests, you climb over several viewing platforms and a number of caves along the waterfalls down into the valley of the Aniene until you finally reach the Temple of Vesta and the Temple of Sibyl at the big waterfall. Marble boards along the trail provide information about the famous people who have travelled this route before.

Villa Adriana: summer residence of the Emperor Hadrian

Approximately 6 kilometres from present day Tivoli, the Emperor Hadrian built the largest summer residence ever built by a ruler. 20,000 people could live here simultaneously with the Emperor and enjoy the luxury of the villa. Spas, libraries, temples, apartments, gardens and pools were generously distributed throughout the area and the many arches, domes, arcades and passageways guaranteed effective visual effects. Unfortunately, the course of history and the use of the villa as a quarry for other buildings caused a lot of destruction. Nevertheless the monumental ruins provide a magnificent impression of the splendour and luxury of the former palace.


Villa Adriana: € 6,50

Villa d'Este: € 6,50

Villa Gregoriana: € 4,-

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