This enormous villa sits on 30,000 acres of a limestone-rich plateau bounded by the streams Roccabruna on the West and Ferrata on the East.  The Roman Emperor Hadrian, famous for many architectural marvels throughout Rome, had it built between 118-138 A.D.  The (30+) buildings of the villa complex occupy over 250 acres of space and much remains unexcavated.  It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

 

 

                 

 

In order to realize a project of such enormous scope, Emperor Hadrian chose this area at the foot of the Tiburtini mountains (29km East of Rome, modern-day Tivoli) both verdant and in close proximity to the ancient Tiber and the system of aqueducts.   The Villa at Tivoli included thermal baths, Nymphaea, elegant pavilions, and elaborate gardens uniquely distributed, atypical of many other imperial villas.  Its various rooms were connected, not only by surface paths but through an underground network of roads for essential services.

It is clear, beyond a doubt, that the versatile Hadrian was more than a sponsor of the project’s construction. Passionate about architecture, he actively participated in its imagining and development.  In Rome, there are many examples of his architectural competence.  The Temple of Venus and Rome is built between the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.  Hadrian oversaw the Pantheon’s completion, renovated from the former temple built by Agrippa, re-built into a totally new design using innovative techniques.  

Though some scholars attribute the Pantheon’s construction to the architect Apollodorus of Damascus, another well-preserved monument in Rome designed and directed by Hadrian is Castel Sant’Angelo.  Originally the tomb of the emperor, it was eventually repurposed as an impregnable fortress by the Popes.

Since the age of the Renaissance, the Villa has been renowned for its elegant architectural decorations and countless statues.  Plundering, common since Medieval times, picked up a frenetic pace so that, now, masterpieces from Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli can be found throughout the museums and private collections of Rome and the broader regions of Europe.

Cost of participation: adults €59, young people under 18 €49, children under 6 years of age free. For information and bookings, please call 0692939974; 0766840578; mobile 3281640180; or write to segreteria@romoloeremo.com, leaving the necessary details for us to contact you; payment on site to the guide, who will carry a ROMOLO E REMO sign

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