Friday, November 5, 2010

Villa D'Este - Tivoli

Hundred Fountains

The Villa D’Este is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the west side of Tivoli overlooking the plain and towards Rome. The villa is considered a masterpiece of late-Renaissance, mannerist-style garden design. Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este (1509 - 1572) built the villa between 1550 and 1572 with inspiration and material coming from the nearby Villa Adriana. Villa D’Este was once a Benedictine cloister and is definitely worth spending some time touring; it is part of the general admission. You go through the house to get to the gardens. However, the villa’s star attraction is its terraced garden with pools, fountains, and general waterworks. Some of the wonders there include: the Hundred Fountains (count them if you wish), the Fountain of the Organ (make sure you inquire about the schedule for when it plays) and the Fountain of Diana of Ephesus (Mother Nature).

The water for the villa comes from a diverted channel of the Aniene River. (If we are not mistaken, Villa D’Este is slightly lower than the bed of the river which makes it relatively easy to get water to the villa.) Speaking of water, visiting Villa Gregoriana in the same day makes a nice day. We toured Villa Gregoriana in the morning, ate lunch, and then toured Villa D’Este in the afternoon so that we ended up in the garden near sunset which is a nice way to see it. We caught the 4:30 show of the Fountain of the Organ. Staying in Tivoli center – which is compact – you can easily walk to Villa D’Este. We stayed in Tivoli (at the Bed & Breakfast Palazzo Maggiore) which was close. On the subject of Tivoli, where did we eat in Tivoli? Here’s what we tried: Terme di Diana, Avec 55, Il Grottino, Il Ciocco, and Ristorante Vino Tinto. We felt that with our sampling we only had so-so food in Tivoli – sorry to say, nothing spectacular except for Avec 55 which was creative and tasty.

Villa D'Este Brochure and Map
Villa D'Este Map

Villa D'Este Brochure

Looking Southwest from the Fountain of the Organ

Looking Northeast Over the Fish Ponds Toward the Fountain of the Organ

A Face in the Hundred Fountains

Diana of Ephesus (Mother Nature)

1 comment:

  1. Nice Nice Nice - thanks for taking the time to share with us!


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