A naturalistic area of enormous impact to the point that was granted on loan to the FAI, the Italian Environment Fund, by the State, in 2002. The naturalistic area of Villa Gregoriana is a group of woods, paths, natural caves, ancient remains and breathtaking views of the Aniene, the tributary of the Tiber that bathes Tivoli.
In some places it is also possible to see the watercourse engulfed by the stones, become one with the rocks and form a spectacular waterfall. A fantastic panorama, full of beauty and romance. All a few kilometers from Rome, in a landscape already full of places of enormous interest that every year brings thousands of tourists to request guided tours in Tivoli.
Gregorian Villa and Pope Gregory XVI
A majestic park created by the will of Pope Gregory XVI in the first half of the nineteenth century and able to contain an explanatory heritage of romantic culture. Here they blend in a wonderful frame of nature, history, archeology.
And it is no coincidence that Villa Gregoriana was the destination of the so-called Grand Tour of the 800, that long journey made in continental Europe in the Renaissance period by young people belonging to the highest aristocracy to come into contact with the beauty of the places that could teach something .
Villa Gregoriana with its park, precisely because of its enormous beauty, has always been the subject of the pictorial representations of Tivoli. The park was born when, in 1832, Pope Gregory XVI promoted a grandiose work of hydraulic engineering to contain the continuous flooding of the Aniene.
The Gregorian Villa rebirth
Once this work was completed, the pope gave life to the parce that was born with his name: the park of Villa Gregoriana. After World War II, the entire site became the property of the State Property until 2002; after years of neglect that had reduced the whole complex to an abandoned and degraded site, Villa Gregoriana was given in concession to the Italian Environment Fund, which worked for a long time to fix it and make it return to its former glory.
In 2005 the park was opened again to the public; an important moment that saw the return of this marvel to citizens and tourists from all over the world who were able to follow the ancient paths again and again admiring the remains of different genres and eras. Among these, the remains of the Villa of the Roman consul Manlio Vopisco and the Roman temples including the celebrated one of Vesta.
The naturalistic wonder of Villa Gregoriana
Also known as the Parco della Villa Gregoriana, included in the Fai, Fund for the Italian environment, this site stands in a panoramic position at the foot of the Roman acropolis of Tivoli.
A great naturalistic, historical and archaeological heritage that presents itself today as a very suggestive environment. With Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa it represents the triptych of the Tivoli villas, known all over the world.
The Park of Villa Gregoriana stands on two sides of a deep ditch: a unique panorama within the Tiburtine landscape with cliffs, caves, waterfalls.
Built as Pope Gregory’s XVI wish
The Villa was built by the will of Pope Gregory XVI in the nineteenth century, it was 1834, near a bed of the river Aniene. The reasons for this work are to be found in the need to defend the city of Tivoli from the floods of the same river Aniene.
The work was carried out without taking into consideration the expenses, in full respect of what was the figure of Pope Gregory XVI. And the results were amazing. A work symbol of the Romantic culture which immediately became one of the main destinations of the Grand Tour, journeys that artists, writers and people of culture made in those years in places full of beauty to enrich their knowledge.
Here, in the Park of Villa Gregoriana, nature and the artificial melt together in a work of great artistic value and sublime aesthetics.
The Valle dell’Inferno and the Acropolis
Villa Gregoriana was built in a valley known in ancient times as the Valle dell’Inferno. In addition to the valley in question, where you can admire a suggestive waterfall, the itinerary of Villa Gregoriana includes the cave of Neptune and that of the Sirens, located along the approach path.
Once you reach the bottom of the valley you go back to what is one of the best known points of the Villa Gregoriana complex: the Acropolis, an esplanade where you can find two temples dating back to the first century BC.
The first temple has a rectangular plan and is known as the temple of the Sibyl; the other is circular and is known as the temple of Vesta.
One of the most evocative naturalistic walks in the world as stated by Fai himself, the Fund for the Italian environment, an association founded in 1975 to preserve important works of Italian artistic and naturalistic heritage and which included Villa Gregoriana in its sites.
“Woods, waterfalls, glimpses and cliffs, rocky paths, ancient ruins and natural caves, a river swallowed up by the bowels of the earth.” In this way Villa Gregoriana is described on the FAI site.