DAY TRIP FROM ROME TO TIVOLI - VILLA D'ESTE
There is a reason why the Villa d’Este is on the UNESCO World Heritage. We were curious to find out exactly what was so grand about it. Rome of course has plenty of wonderful, historic places to visit, like the Vatican Piazza Navona and the Colosseum to name a few, but step just a bit of the city and you see that the countryside is not lacking in beauty either. Since we had just a little over a week to spare on our vacation, we made a point to include it on our itinerary. We were not disappointed at all and l don’t think you will be either. Here is your Tivoli day trip itinerary :)
HOW TO GET FROM ROME TO VILLA D’ESTE IN TIVOLI:
Tivoli is located about 19 miles north east of Rome in the Lazio region. Since we’ve decided to not rent the car, we were left with two options to get from Rome to Tivoli via public transport, bus and metro train. We opted for the train because it was less convoluted for us. We arrived at Rome Termini Station and there are several trains that will stop at Tivoli. The trick is finding the most direct one, (Termini to Tivoli ) which takes about 35 minutes. Other trains with as many as 12 stops before Tivoli obviously takes longer. The funny part is that the cost is still the same for both, €2.20 each way. (Note: If there are no direct trains at your convenient time, you can also check times at Roma Tiburtina Station, which is 8 min taxi drive from Roma Termini, they might have direct trains)
Website we used to check train times: https://www.thetrainline.com/
WHERE IS VILLA D’ ESTE?
Once we exited the Tivoli train station, we used google maps (thank you, google!) to walk all the way to Villa d’Este. Follow the signs to the villa, past the Roman ruins till you get to the little plaza Garibaldi. It’s only about 10 minutes walk. There are some photos we made on our way to the villa:)
VILLA D’ESTE : A LITTLE HISTORY:
The villa was the brainchild of Cardinal Ippolito II d”Este, grandson of Pope Alexander VI and son of Alfonso I d’Este and Lucrezia Borgia. Thanks to nepotism, he became a very rich man. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Nepotism was big in the case of the Palazzo Doria Pamphili as well. The Catholic church’s history is not flattering by any means the more l read. He eventually ended up with the governorship of Tivoli, a position that suited him nicely since he loved art and this gave him jurisdiction over Hadrian’s villa and other historic sites from where he pillaged in order to build a villa that surpassed the ones built by the Romans.
Meaning of Tivoli – according to Wikipedia, Tivoli refers to gardens, theaters and venues. Other famous examples of Tivoli include Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen (which looked stupendous from the outside when we visited) and Tivoli World, which is an amusement park in the Costa de Sol area of Spain.
There was bombing damage during WWI but restoration work was carried out to bring it back to the glory days. The views absolutely wow you. Just stunning!!! The whole valley lays below you and it just seems to go on forever. The courtyard of the villa is where the cloister of the convent used to be. It’s always amazing to me how entitled “men of the cloth” were, and come to think of it are, even now.There are in total 51 fountains, 364 water jets, 64 waterfalls, 220 basins and all work without pumps, just gravity. Very impressive! When I saw fountains I’ve had a thought that it really reminded me of Peterhof fountains in Saint Petersburg and later I found out that indeed Peter I, after he visited Tivoli, gave a decree to build the fountains of Peterhof in such a way that they would certainly surpass the beauty of the Villa d’Este.
IS VILLA D’ESTE IN TIVOLI WORTH VISITING?
Definitely yes!!! The good thing is that because the gardens are so vast, it never feels crowded. (unlike every popular sightseeing place in Rome) If you have the time, you should add it to your list of must sees on any Rome visit! :)