Hadrians VillaGuide to Hadrian’s Villa: what to see in the Emperor’s residence

It is one of the most beautiful archaeological complexes around Rome, an historical testimony of a magnificence of the II century AD. when the Emperor Hadrian decided to make it as his residence. A monumental housing complex that still today unaltered the glories of the places of power of ancient Rome. This is why Hadrian’s Villa is one of the most visited and loved places in Tivoli.
Built between 118 and 138 AD it consists of a complex of several buildings, most of which are still visible and open to visitors. There are several places to visit when you go to the villa which has been included by UNESCO in the World Heritage List’s World Heritage Sites. So let’s see the main points of interest of Hadrian’s Villa.

The places of Hadrian’s Villa

The villa is located in a context surrounded by nature, full of greenery. This is one of the many riches of Tivoli. Among the places of Hadrian’s Villa to visit are Pecile, the large square which has a garden with a large central pool and a portico on the sides.
It was one of the places most loved by Emperor Hadrian; today from the Pecile it is possible to see the interior of the villa directly while in the past the garden was surrounded by high walls of the colonnaded portico.
Then there is the Canòpo, another rectangular basin of great aesthetic impact surrounded and embellished by the presence of marvellous statues. The structure evokes an arm of the river Nile with its delta that connected the homonymous city of Canopus.

The biggest residence of a Roman emperor

Other places of interest in Hadrian’s Villa are The Golden Square, the Maritime Theater, the Baths and the Philosopher Room. The latter in particular is a large apsidal hall whose name is due to the presence of seven niches in which the statues of the seven sages are placed.
The Maritime Theater develops in three concentric circles with a colonnade built on an artificial basin and an islet with a small building where Hadrian used to meditate.
And then, between the places of Hadrian’s Villa, the Baths, divided into small and large, two complexes connected by an underground corridor. The Hall of the Doric Pillars, the Winter Palace already equipped with heating systems.
Basically a place of great artistic, historical and cultural interest: the largest mansion ever belonged to a Roman emperor.

A walk to Hadrian’s Villa

It was the residence of the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD one of the most important figures of Imperial Rome. He was a scholar, an architect, a musician, a lover of art and aesthetics. He built this magnificent villa as his home testimony of pomp and glory.
Today the villa is still visible and is one of the most visited places in Tivoli; It is no coincidence that it has been included by UNESCO in the World Heritage Sites. The work to build Hadrian’s Villa began in 117 AD. and lasted about twenty years. The villa was handed over to the emperor in the last years of his life.
Hadrian chose Tivoli because in this way he was away from the center of Rome, where the great part of the political life of the city was taking place: the presence of beneficial thermal waters convinced him to build his residence here.

Visit Hadrian’s Villa

A vast area of about 120 hectares of which, today, only 40 can be visited. A complex that has been handed down over the centuries and that turns out to be one of the most magnificent examples of architectural residency.
With Hadrian’s Villa they reached a splendor and a pomposity never touched before. Taking a guided tour today at Hadrian’s Villa means getting lost in splendor and luxury. The wonders of the past that come back today; all immersed in the green of ancient trees.
Among the sites that are still preserved to the best in Hadrian’s Villa can be listed: the Greek Theater, the Golden Square, the Hall of Philosophers, the Stadium and the Academy. The architectural complex is enriched not only by the already mentioned green of nature, but also by colonnades and porticoes.

In contact with history

A walk in contact with history, with the magic of the Roman Empire and one of the most important figures of that era: the Emperor Hadrian. In 1999 UNESCO decided to include this marvellous villa on the sites declared World Heritage Sites.
Motivation of that decision: the fact that Hadrian’s Villa represented a “masterpiece that uniquely brings together the highest forms of expression of the material cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world”.
What was the villa that Hadrian built for himself and his court in the countryside of Tivoli appears today as a huge green park spread over 80 hectares and filled with multiple Roman ruins. All with the background of nature and the famous spa of Tivoli.
A place to visit absolutely if you are here also to better understand and touch the greatness that the Roman Empire managed to reach.