Tivoli today is a quaint small town north of Rome. Since ancient times, Tivoli has been home to two of the most celebrated villas in Europe, which are both now listed as protected sites by UNESCO.

We will tour the enormous residence of the Emperor Hadrian (2nd Century A.D.) and the Villa d’Este, which was commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, and is well known for its spectacular garden adorned with beautiful fountains.

This is a relaxing walking tour, a great way to spend the day discovering the pleasures of Roman otium – active, intellectually stimulating leisure time through the centuries.

Because of the temperate climate, natural springs, and the famous quarries of travertine stone, Tivoli has become a treasured location since ancient times.

Here the Emperor Hadrian, a refined intellectual and architect, created his main residence.

Characterized by sophisticated architecture which inspired many other masterpieces of the Empire, his Villa is still partially intact and his dining room housed some of the most extravagant and luxurious banquets of the time.

The Renaissance Villa d’Este was commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este ( Lucrezia Borgia’s son,  one of the most innovative patrons of his time).


The Cardinal created the garden to be yet more splendorous than the villa! With spectacular fountains, jetting springs which produced live music, these gardens at Tivoli became the model for Versailles centuries later.