Tuesday, 20 March 2012 12:10

Day Trips away from Rome

Tivoli - Villa d'Este

Tivoli is a small hill town to the east of Rome that provides access to two amazing attractions.  In the town itself is the Villa d'Este, A UNESCO World Heritiage site, replete with stunning gardens, a unique water garden and an interesting 16th century villa.  On a plain south of the town you will find Villa Adriana, another World Heritage site,which was constructed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian early in the 2nd century. 

The Villa d'Este and its gardens are considered one of the highlights of Renaissance culture. The garden's design served as a model for many of the prominent gardens that were later developed in Europe.   The landscaping of Villa d'Este is stunning and its mixture of water, topography and plantings is very pleasing example of formal Italian Gardens.  

Tivoli - Villa Adriana

Villa Adriana, near Tivoli,  is an interesting site featuring a villa built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the early 2nd century.   Hadrian was an unpopular emperor and regarded by many Romans as an outsider, whom, they claimed, was not born in Italy.  Whatever the truth of his lineage, it is clear that Hadrian did not enjoy spending time in Rome and during most of his reign he traveled the Empire.  We understand that Hadrian, who was an excellent administrator, had a significant interest in architecture and considered himself an architect of some skill.  His buildings in Rome, Italy and across theRoman Empire remain some of its finest monuments (e.g. the Pantheon, Castel Sant'Angelo, Hadrian's Wall (United Kingdom) and Hadrian's Gate and Library (Athens)).

Not taken with city life, and especially unhappy with the politics of living in Rome, Hadrian created a beautiful villa in the country near Tivoli.  His plan for the villa incorporated the best of the architectures he had seen around the Mediterranean into the country home he called Villa Adriana.

After his death the Adriana feel into disrepair and was all but forgotten for the next 1200 years.  Cardinal Ippolite II de"Este (responsible for building the Villa d'Este - in part using marble taken from Villa Adriana) was, also, responsible for rehabilitating Villa Adriana.   Although today's site is a ruin, it is an interesting location and wandering though its remains is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.  We think it not too hard to explore the site and imagine its past glory.  In fact, Villa Adriana is credited with playing a crucial role in the rediscovery of classical Roman and Mediterranean architecture by the architects of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

There does not appear to be an official website for Villa Adriana, but we think you will find this website  - http://www.villa-adriana.net/ - helpful in deciding whether Villa Adriana is for you.

Souce & Copyrights:http://www.thereareplaces.com/newguidebook/pdest/italy/rome/daytrips_rome.htm;


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