All posts tagged: Rome

Gardens Of Villa d’Este, in Tivoli

The hilltop town of Tivoli, back in time, may just be a summer retreat for ancient Romans, but today, it is home for two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Villa Adriana, the sprawling estate of Emperor Hadrian; and the 16th-century Villa d’Este, a Renaissance villa famous for its landscaped gardens and lavish fountains. During my two week workawaying in Italy, near Rome, I happened to explore the old city of Tivoli, and in Tivoli, perhaps the most surreal gardens I’ve seen in my life. Villa d’Este, as I had imagined (after watching its glimpse in the Hollywood movie Lizzie McGuire) to be grand, majestic and awe-inspiring. But it turned out to be something more than that, something far magical and unrealistic. The detailed Villa d’Este dates from the mid 16th century when Cardinal Ippolito d’Este decided to make changes to the convent he was given, upon his appointment as the governor of Tivoli, Italy. A member of an influential family and a lover of the finest things in life, d’Este commissioned his architect to build a new, grand residence filled with everything that money could buy and from what …