Y’all, there’s hardly a place I love more in the world than Rome! The rich history around every corner could keep me occupied for months….and trust me, a long-term stay in Rome is on The Curious Cowgirl bucket list for sure. But, the region of Lazio has so much to offer, beyond the Eternal City, and making a day-trip to Tivoli is a not-to-be-missed experience!
Tivoli is a short 20 miles outside of Rome. A summer retreat for ancient Romans and the Renaissance rich, the hilltop town of Tivoli is home to two Unesco World Heritage Sites: Villa Adriana, the sprawling estate of Emperor Hadrian, and the 16th-century Villa d’Este, a Renaissance villa famous for its landscaped gardens and lavish fountains.
Will and I booked a private guide and driver for our day in Tivoli. We prefer private guides to group tours, but on a separate trip I visited Tivoli with a group, and thoroughly enjoyed my day!
During our day-trip, we left Rome around 9 a.m. and first arrived in Tivoli at Hadrian’s Villa Adriana. Hadrian is the Emperor who also built (well, not him personally, but his army….) Hadrian’s Wall in the UK, and was responsible for the construction of the Pantheon in Rome. The ruins of this once-great villa are immense, and I find it hard to imagine what it all looked like back-in-the-day, but the experience of climbing through the ruins and the olive trees was simply wonderful!
After a couple of hours, we jumped back in the car and our driver took us to our second stop in Tivoli, the Villa d’Este. OK y’all…this place is so amazing!!!! The first time I visited I was in shock at the varied and beautiful water features. The Villa d’Este is a 16th Century palace and garden, and oh wow….When you arrive, you can walk through the villa, and the decoration in the rooms is just unreal.
But, the main show is the garden. It’s tiered, so just be aware that what goes down, must come up, and it’s really steep. Modern-day restorations began in the 1920’s and continue through today. Walk every path, climb every staircase…. I encourage you not to miss one square foot of the gorgeous garden and its fanciful fountains!
- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. You can see a complete list, or list by country, of all the UNESCO sites here.
- Visiting Tivoli is an all-day event. Most tours will start at Hadrian’s Villa, and then move to Villa d’Este second. There are several restaurants in Tivoli where you can have a nice lunch if you are with a private guide, before seeing the Villa.
- There are entrance fees to both sites in Tivoli, and if you are with a group, your entrance is probably part of your tour price (double check this!). If you are with a private guide, you will need to pay for tickets before entering.
Please let me know if you visit these amazing sites!!!! And for info about the guide service that helped arrange this wonderful day-trip, click here.
And for other information about visiting Rome, check out this post! Happy travels in Lazio, y’all!!!!