Villa D’este was once a private refuge for the Catholic clergy. Commissioned by the Cardinal Ippolito II D’este in the 17th century this UNESCO World Heritage Site is now home to ticket holders.
The Villa has an amazing décor with each room having it’s own specific theme. The renaissance architecture is completely outshined by the sprawling fountain dotted gardens. You can find Villa D’este in the town of Tivoli. Tivoli itself is a beautiful town that sits between rolling green hills and tumbling waterfalls. You can really see why the Cardinal chose this town to set up his getaway.
The outstanding mansion is built on a hill overlooking the gardens, every window you will pass will give you an remarkable vantage point. The gardens are the real treasure of Villa D’este, after snaking your way down the balconies and grand staircases you will find your senses bombarded. The colors and smells of beautiful flowers and the sounds of hundreds of fountains of all shapes and sizes.
The garden is constructed on a series of hills, at the lowest point lies three fish packed reflecting ponds. Out of over 500 fountains you will have your own favourite choices. I loved walking next to the Fontana Delle Cento Cannelle or The Hundred Fountains. This line of one hundred water jets dropping into a decorated stone trough leads you to the Fountain of Neptune and another one of my favourites: The Water Organ Fountain. The Fontana dell’Organo is a huge crowd drawer and is an impressive display of Villa D’este hydraulic water pump technology. The Fontana dell’Organo is an elaborate hydraulic water-powered fountain that sounds off for the public every two hours (the first performance is at 10:30 AM). The water organ truly is unique and the music it creates is as beautiful as the fountain itself. The garden is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon, strolling past fountains, grottoes, and ponds; the sound of the moving water really sets the mind at ease.
One of your options for arriving at Villa D’este is to take the train on the Rome-Pescara line and get off at the Tivoli station stop. Villa D’este is located near the center of town and is easily accessible by foot after you arrive in the Tivoli train station. The Villa opens at 8:30 AM and closes one hour before sunset but is closed on major holidays and all Mondays. The tickets cost around €10 depending on whether there are extra exhibits on display. Spend a day at Villa D’este and enjoy the relaxed ambience, but make sure you go to the bathroom before making your rounds; those fountains can really get to you.
Top 5 Hotels in Tivoli on Venere.com
- Town House Sibilla Albunea – Guest Rating 8.8 – Double Room from €70
- Hotel Tivoli – Guest Rating 8.2 – Double Room from €70
- Hotel Aurora – Guest Rating 7.7 – Double Room from €85
- Grand Hotel Duca d’Este – Guest Rating 7.6 – Double Room from €85
- Hotel Dimora Adriana – Guest Rating 7.6 – Double Room from €80
Photo of Villa d’Este, Tivoli, Italy, by Lanci Daniele