Tivoli is a delightful, small town about one hour outside of Rome and definitely worth visiting. The town dates back to the Roman times, with many incredible archeological findings such as the Hadrian's Villa and the Temple of Vesta.
The Rocca Pia (fig. 1), a medieval-century fortress, towers over the town center as one approaches the entrance to Villa D'Este, the 16th century grand residence of Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, who began its construction in 1560.
The Villa (fig. 2) is a powerful example of Italian gardens of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, displaying a vast array of fountains, nymphs and plays of water. We entered the courtyard (figs. 3,4) and went through beautifully frescoed rooms (figs. 5,6) before reaching the main terrace where one can admire the spectacular view of the surrounding valley (fig. 7) dotted by numerous small towns. Fountains and waterfalls (figs. 8,9) fill the gardens, adorned by very lush trees and perfectly manicured landscapes (figs. 10,11). After wandering around the gardens for quite a while, we made it back to the upper level terrace (fig. 12) for a last glance at the valley below (fig. 13) before returning home.
Overall, this was a most enjoyable and relaxing day trip away from the traffic and congestion typical of Rome, truly a gita – Italian style. Buon divertimento!