Villa d’Este – Tivoli

Outside Rome is the town Tivoli, and in it the well known Villa d’Este.

For everyone who watched the Borgias, Lucrezia’s (pope Alexander VI’s daughter) son, cardinal Ippolito de Este, had the villa built.


The architect drew inspiration (as well as marble and statues) from the nearby Villa Adriana, Hadrian’s country home. It is still there, rather neglected, but there.

The gardens were revolutionary for their times and all formal gardens from Poland to Portugal followed this new pattern, started here in renaisance Italy. It is filled with fountains, and in the intense summer heat of Romania, the water is very welcome. Old Roman hydrolic knowledge was used to power all the fountains.

Quite a feat really, without electricity and considering the scale.

The Peacock

The Peacock

A drinking fountain before you go down the stairs

Neptune is also there, but only since the 20th century.

There is a water organ as well, how original it is I don’t know, but there is nothing like a program to set your tourists in motion. If the organ plays on the hour, everybody is rushing off to the organ to be there on time. If you had to see people shoving and jostling for position you would think you couldn’t hear the organ from one meter back. Quite sad really.

We also have the bigger ponds as well as the dragons. Some pope had the dragon on his crest I believe.

Impressive what you can do with a good architect, engineer and a few artists isn’t it. And a few pence off course.

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