Tivoli and the Villa d’Este tour
Not far from Rome is a small city four and a half centuries older than its great neighbor.
In the old days, artists, intellectuals of all stripes and descendants of noble families flocked there from all over Europe: it was one of the obligatory places to visit during the Grand Tour, the obligatory educational journey for young aristocrats and all those who yearned to see the most beautiful places in Europe. Goethe, Chateaubriand, Franz Liszt, Sylvester Shchedrin and Karl Bruloff, among many other celebrities of their time, left their footprints here. It is not without reason that the Roman poet Virgil, in his poem "Aeneid", called this place Tibur Superbum (The Magnificent Tibur). In addition, since ancient times this place has been famous for its thermal springs, and today people come here not only to enrich themselves culturally, but also to rest their bodies in the numerous spas.
We are talking about Tivoli, a small town east of Rome, founded in 1215 BC by the Tiburtine Mountains, on the banks of the River Anyene.
The romantic views and waterfalls of Tivoli were particularly beloved by landscape artists, who from everywhere were drawn to these places. And this is obvious: the mountains, waterfalls, ancient temples and ruins of ancient villas, the magnificent garden ensemble of the Villa d'Este.
A walk around Tivoli is a special pleasure, a kind of journey on a high-speed time machine. Here you are enjoying the magnificent scenery from the observation deck, then wander through the narrow cobblestone streets of medieval town, suddenly, at the foot of an ancient temple, thoughtfully transported into the days of ancient Rome, admiring the cascades of waterfalls, and then back to the modern square, crowded with numerous families of locals with children and groups of partying youth.
One of Tivoli's main gems is the Villa d'Este, an Italian Renaissance masterpiece in three guises: architecture, painting, and garden design.
The Villa, rebuilt in the mid-16th century from a monastery at the wish of Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, son of the famous Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of the notorious Pope Alessandro VI, is an exceptional example of the combination of architecture and "the Italian garden" that influenced the development of garden design throughout Europe.
A walk through the halls of the villa, where the world-famous Hungarian composer Franz Liszt once stayed. The walls are decorated with beautiful paintings, from behind painted decoy doors at times peep out the inhabitants of bygone times, peeking at you, the decoration of each room is subject to a certain theme. The view is endless, but what awaits you is the garden at the foot of the villa, with its well-thought-out, regular layout and wonderful fountains, above which the biggest of them, the Organ Fountain, rises majestically. The architecture of the garden and the positioning of the fountains are clearly thought out: the idea of the superiority of man's strength and power over the forces of nature is at the heart of it. The water effects of the villa's fountains served as an example for the famous "fountains - shutikha" of Peterhof.
Excursion to Tivoli involves a walk through the city and a visit to the Villa d'Este. Since the villa is located near the bus stop/parking lot, the tour begins with a visit to the villa and its park, then a walk around town. The opposite can also be done if desired.