Lose yourself in an evocative place among hundreds of fountains and water features that contribute to create a magical landscape. Villa d’Este in Tivoli is one of those sites on the outskirts of Rome that deserves to be seen at least once in your life. It is a wonderful Renaissance villa created by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, the son of Lucrezia Borgia and Alfonso I d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, and built to a design by the architect Pirro Ligorio in the place where the “Valle gaudente” once extended.
Villa d’Este is now one of the greatest masterpieces of the Italian garden, a mix of art and nature that in 2001 was included, precisely because of its splendor, among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Together with Villa Adriana (in turn included among the UNESCO sites) and Villa Gregoriana, Villa d’Este represents the triptych of the villas of Tivoli to visit when you go to this beautiful town at the gates of the capital.
History of Villa d’Este
Villa d’Este was born in the Renaissance period on the decision of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este who had received as a gift from the Pope of the time, Julius III, some territories in the area of Tivoli. The need to control these areas closely led him to move to the town at the gates of Rome as well as commissioning the construction of a magnificent villa that could make the courts of the whole continent speak for themselves.
Villa d’Este was inaugurated in 1572 and its construction was carried out by various renowned craftsmen such as Bernini, in addition to the already mentioned architect Pirro Ligorio who took care of the project from the ground up. Villa d’Este in Tivoli became a center of excellence right from the start, a wonderful villa for its garden, for the hydraulic games and for the many fountains, real trademarks of the villa.
A visit to Villa d’Este
Over the centuries, Villa d’Este has seen many illustrious visitors, such as the musician Franz Liszt, who composed the piano sonata “Giochi d’acqua a Villa d’Este” (Water Games at Villa d’Este) here, and has undergone a series of renovations that have led it to appear as we know it today.
Visiting Villa d’Este today means getting lost in its immense garden among the many fountains, two of which (the Fountain of the Bicchierone and the Fall of the Fountain of the Organ) by Bernini; admire the unique water games, the scenic effects produced by the waterfalls. Even the interior of the building houses a rich history as well as many architectural wonders.
The Cardinal Ippolito d’Este had his interiors decorated by some of the greatest artists of the time who worked in Rome: among the rooms to visit absolutely, the salt of the stories of Solomon, the corner room, the Hall of Landscapes, the bedroom of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, the Hall of Arts and Crafts, the Hall of Noah, Hall of Moses, the Hall of Venus. Even the exterior of the villa deserve to be admired especially with reference to the avenue, the Grand Lodge, the Caves of the Sibyls and the Cave of Venus. A magical place that every year attracts, for its beauty, thousands of tourists from all over the world.