Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tivoli: Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa

This past Saturday, I made the trek out to Tivoli along with Luke, another American girl named Becca, two German guys Federico and Ivan, and an Indian guy, Sankalp. Tivoli is about 20 miles east of Rome, and getting there was a trek.

First we took a bus from Trastevere to Piramide. Then we took the metroB to the end of the line. Then we took another bus up to Tivoli for Villa d'Este. The villa belonged to a cardinal from the 1600s who "believed in heaven on earth" and tried to create that heaven in the gardens of his villa! It demonstrates the ideal renaissance architecture, although the villa itself is falling apart.


 The jasmine was exquisite!

Mosaic ceiling

After Villa d'Este we stopped for a quick caffe fredo (cold espresso) and a HUGE gelato. It was probably 95 and sunny the whole day, it was actually really exhausting! Somehow we all forgot sunscreen, but luckily we spent most of peak hours on the bus or finding shade.

Next we had to take another bus to Hadrian's villa. The emperor Hadrian built the villa in the 2nd century as both a vacation home and a court, during the summer much of Rome would travel to Tivoli and live at Hadrian's villa to conduct business/politics/etc. The villa included theaters, baths, temples, fountains, gardens, canals, and a statuary. Evidently most of what has been recovered is in museums in Rome. All of the marble is pretty much gone, taken by emperors, plunderers, and popes when they needed another piece. The whole thing seemed really well preserved to me, especially because as a visitor you're allowed to walk/climb almost everywhere, including walking over mosaic floors in the bathhouse.

The trip back was more exhausting than the trip there, and it was soooo good to get home and take a shower! I don't know how Italians do it. It's 95 degrees and they're all wearing pants. I just don't get it.

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