Rome is an epitome of monumental architecture and home to a plethora of fantastic opulence which is why it ranks highly among many tourists’ travel itineraries. Nonetheless, while many travels are for the common and obvious attractions such as the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel, there are numerous mesmerizing attractions just slightly aware from the mainstream and the gardens of Villa d’ Este in Tivoli is one such attraction.
It is a masterpiece representation of impeccable Italian landscaping besides being an exemplary example of Renaissance culture at its apex. Now a UNESCO branded World Heritage spot, this garden is responsible for its profound influence on general garden design across Europe, projecting a baroque and mannerist style courtesy of its intricate layout, a concentration of grottoes and fountain and architectural components. Every turn presents you with sublime sights with the garden not only excusing a romantic splendor, but a rich history just identical to typical Roman life.
This is the ideal way to escape the scorching summer sun and never-ending chaos of the Italian city and should, therefore, be on your Rome Tour Bucket List.
About Villa d’ Este Gardens, Tivoli
These gardens were commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este in 1550 soon after obtaining the governorship of Tivoli town. Dissatisfied with his then official residence, he sought to establish a splendid villa and location where he would find the opulence synonymous with Roman, French and Ferrarese courts and also matching the luxury as with the Hadrian Villa. Conceived by none other than Pirro Ligorio, the esteemed architect, and painter, and constructed and consequently landscaped by Alberto Galvano, an accredited court architect, Ippolito’s vision rapidly transformed into among the most exceptional examples of typical 16th century Italian gardens.
An icon of Renaissance culture, the winding staircases, looming terraces, and grand slopes and promenades, have seen this garden receive comparison to the hanging gardens of Babylon. A unique network of transverse paths inspires a maze-like feeling to this significant portion of land, marred by surprises at each step. An exceptional symbol of romance, this well-designed scene has quickly become a favorite spot particularly for lovers when popping the big question.’
By far the most inspiring of all is the garden’s numerous lovely water features. Move towards the most prominent promenade to set sight on 100 fountains lining your pathway-a backdrop that has found use with most film scenes, including Three Coins in the Fountain and Ben Hur.
At the left side of this mesmerizing promenade rests the Fontana dell’Ovato, a sizeable Baroque-style fountain which emits an organ-like sound courtesy of the mechanisms as created by its waters. A marvel for anyone that sets foot here, you will not help but merely lay back and absorb this incredible sight, listening as the ear-soothing sound water spasms pass softly through this garden. Further down is the Fountain of Neptune, a breathtaking piece surrounded by three distinctive small reflective fishing ponds.
Divert your gaze slightly away from the Villa and come to tabs with the intricate Grotto di Diana, or focus on the very center and set sight on the Fountain of Dragons-a notable feature rumored to have only taken a night to complete to pay homage to Pope Gregory XIII, then a guest to the Villa).
Finally, in its lower region is the Rotonda dei Cipressi that houses a rounded piazza rich with century-old trees while two reasonably steep sloops cascading from the Villa will direct you to a terrace in style only tantamount to a beautiful amphitheater.
The beauty of this garden outstandingly transcends all possibilities and barriers. A famous work of art, this garden maintains its original charm years after its establishment. It is a sight you genuinely need to see to believe and even then, you still won’t believe your eyes.
To get there, you can use several available options including a guided tour (which is the most comfortable method), take the Cotral company bus from Ponte Mammolo terminus or go for the car rental option.