The summer retreat of the ancient Romans


The town of Tivoli is 30 km away northwest of the capital Rome. It is located in the province of Lazio, on the banks of the Trevone River. The city is famous for the many historical monuments left over from Roman times, among which stand out the exquisite palaces and summer residences once owned by the Roman emperors, as well as several iconic fountains.


Description: Villa d’Este /picture source: Shutterstock.com/;

The town is built on a hill, which makes it a desirable place for various peoples. However, it was the Romans who managed to settle there and for centuries jealously guarded their territories. Because of the town’s location high on a hill and its clean air, most Roman rulers began to build luxurious villas here. They shaped its appearance, and thanks to their great architects, much of their legacy remains intact to this day.

Most of Tivoli’s sights date from the Renaissance. Due to the frequent travels of the Roman Catholics here, a number of beautiful villas were built. Among them, one of the most exquisite are d’Este, made in the 16th century, as well as La Roca Palace, which was built as a symbol of Catholic power.

Apart from its villas, the city is famous for its fountains and parks. According to some scientists, these fountains are the prototype of those made later throughout Europe. Besides being fabulously beautiful, they have both architectural and historical value and even today are considered one of the symbols of the city and among the most remarkable in the world.


Description: Villa Adriana /picture source: Shutterstock.com/;

Perhaps the most visited tourist destination in Tivolli is Villa d’Este, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In addition to its unique architecture, it also houses some of the most beautiful gardens, as well as the world-famous Tiburtine Fountain, which is a symbol of the abundance of water in the region. Although it is called “villa”, it is actually a magnificent palace created by Livio Gooseberry, which also builds the incredibly beautiful park around it. The fountains, which are many in number, are marked with the coat of arms of the d’Este family and, together with the beautiful gardens, are considered the eighth wonder of the world. 

Description: panoramic view of Tivolli /picture source: Shutterstock.com/;

Other sights of the city are the Rocca Pia Castle, which was built in 1461, the entire Old Town, the Temple of Sibyl and Hercules, and Villa Adriana. All of them are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The city is also a suitable place for nature lovers, as here they will discover some of the most memorable landscapes that Italy’s nature has to offer. This is due to the city’s close location to the Aniene River waterfalls, as well as the many gardens in the city center.

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