The magnificent Villa d’Este in Tivoli is one of the Italian sites inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List .
A few kilometers away from Rome , Villa d’ Este was built by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este , governor of Tivoli since 1550. The Cardinal , disappointed at the failure to elect a pope , he wanted to revive the glories of this villa courts of Ferrara , Roman and French and, above all match the magnificence of Villa Adriana .
The concentration of fountains , grottoes and fountains present at Villa d’ Este represented a much-copied model for European gardens in the mannerist and baroque .
Of particular interest are the rooms on the first floor of the palace decorated and painted by a large group of artists of the late Roman Mannerism , including Livio Agresti and Federico Zuccari . The protagonist of the villa is the splendid garden , designed by the painter and architect Pirro Ligorio and realized by Alberto Galvani court , flanked by numerous artists and craftsmen .
After a period of splendor , the villa , between the eighteenth if the nineteenth century . He fell into a state of disrepair . Only half of the nineteenth century , thanks to a complete renovation , the villa returned to its former glory and there were welcomed several artists, including the composer Franz Liszt wrote that there ” Fountains at Villa d’ Este ” , and held in in 1879 , one of his last concerts .
The villa’s fountains
Surely visual impact are the Hundred Fountains lining the boulevard along one hundred meters. This charming place has been the backdrop to many films such as the banquet scene in “Ben Hur” Wyler.
To the left of the avenue is Ovato Fountain, the Baroque villa, given the extraordinary effect given from the rocks, from ornamental rocks and water flows representing Tiburtini mountains, from which descend three rivers: Aniene, Erculaneo and Albuneo. In ancient times on this fountain flowed into the Aniene water, it conveyed through a channel.
From the villa, on the left is the Diana Cave, richly decorated and inside which some statues were preserved – including that of Diana the Huntress – which were purchased by Pope Benedict XIV and then transferred to the Capitoline Museums.
Below the Avenue of the Hundred Fountains, meets the spectacular Fountain of the Dragons for its central location appears to be the heart of the park.
The legend says that this fountain was built in one night in September 1572 as a tribute to Pope Gregory XIII, who was a guest of the Villa and whose family crest, the Boncompagni, had as a symbol of the winged dragons.
In the lower part of the garden is the Rotonda dei Cipressi: a square surrounded by gigantic centuries-old cypress trees, one of the oldest surviving examples.
Certainly the most imposing fountain is the Fountain of Neptune, originally designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and restored in the twentieth century. Given its beauty, she became a model for numerous eighteenth-century fountains.
To complete the set of the Neptune Fountain, at the bottom, there are bodies of water of the three fish ponds, while above it was realized the Organ Fountain, which owes its name to the place water mechanism inside and which still generates tunes heard by visitors.
Opening 8.30. Closing one hour before sunset.
The ticket service ends one hour before closing time.
The water organ of the Organ Fountain is activated daily at the following times: 10:30 to 12:30 – 14:30 to 16:30 – 18.30 hrs.
Full ticket: € 8,00
Reduced ticket: € 4,00
These fares may vary in conjunction with exhibitions set inside the Villa.
HOW TO GET THERE