Friday, January 18, 2008

Day Trips from Rome-Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli

In the 2nd century CE the Emperor Hadrian built a country retreat for himself to escape the chaos and corruption of Rome. Hadrian had travelled all over the Roman Empire and used many different architectural traditions in the more than 30 buildings at the site. Hadrian's Villa was created with extensive horticultural and sculpture gardens, libraries, temples and bath complexes. Today the villa is a UNESCO World Heritage site and still provides a welcome haven for visitors from Rome. While you are in the area of Tivoli (ancient Tibur) be sure to stop at the Villa d'Este, a Renaissance palace known for its spectacular fountains, built by Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este, son of Lucrezia Borgia. For the antiquarians among you, the farm belonging to the Augustan poet Horace is also nearby. The town of Tivoli is about 30 kilometers from Rome. Take the A24 east and turn off at Via Empolitana. Follow the signs to Tivoli, Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este. Alternatively, take the train from Rome (Tiburtina Station) to Tivoli. You'll have to take a bus or taxi to the Villa from the center of the town of Tivoli.

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