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Entrance to Villa d'Este is through a doorway on Piazza Trento, adjacent to the Church of Santa-Maria Maggiore. The main building is divided into 2 floors wherein the top floor is the living quarters of the self-indulgent d’Este. The lower floor opens up to an unending series of halls, each with its own religious or historical theme.
Today, the courtyard stands at the same place as the cloister of the original convent upon which Villa d'Este is built. Its most striking feature is the fountain of Venus by Raffaelo Sangallo, showcasing a remarkable statue of the sleeping Venus. The fountain is straddled by Doric columns and topped with a marble bust of the Roman emperor Constantine.
The salon offers uninterrupted views of the billowing garden below. The vaulted ceiling displays a frieze and a wide array of frescoes that were designed in 1568 by Livio Agresti. The walls, once brightly colored in gold and green shades and marked with eagles, which are the emblem of the d’Este family, which are sadly completely bare today.
The antechamber is a small area that connects the salon with the Cardinal’s bedroom. It is decorated with numerous personifications of virtue, like several other rooms, and is supported with a vaulted ceiling and an ornamental frieze.
Museum of the book is a renowned museum located in the garden area of Villa D Este Tivoli. Housed in two buildings, the museum has grown in prominence due to its success with the conservation and restoration of ancient books.
Like many other halls in the villa, this room is painted with religious themes covering important moments from King Solomon’s life and was completed in 1565.
The hall is covered in frescoes, the highlight of which is the scene of Noah arriving with his ark on Mount Ararat and making the pivotal agreement with God.
The life of Moses takes center stage in this hall and features vibrant frescoes including the legendary scene of him bringing water to the people of Israel by striking a rock.
Visitors can take in the sight of terracotta floors, statues of Religion and Peace, and an image of Venus accepting flowers from angels on the ceiling in the hall of Venus.
The spacious room boasts of a beautiful mosaic fountain and an alluring fresco showcasing a banquet of Gods, including Jupiter and the gods and goddesses of Olympus on the ceiling.
This room is dedicated to the heroism of Hercules, which is depicted through Girolamo Muziano’s paintings of his eight labors and his grand entrance into Mount Olympus.
Artist Federico Zuccari’s painting ‘Nobility on the throne between Liberality and Generosity’ graces the ceiling. Moreover, classical philosophers like Plato, Socrates, and Pythagoras are honored with paintings on the walls.
Replete with Late Renaissance paintings, this room was decorated with allegorical depictions of the Four Seasons, Magnanimity, Religion, and the Allegory of Glory, which has since been lost.
True to its name, the hall of hunt showcases images of rural landscapes, hunting scenes, hunting trophies, etc., and was completed in the late 16th and early 17th Century.
The First Tiburtine Hall is decorated with stories of the Greek brothers who founded the city of Tibur (now Tivoli). The Second Tiburtine Hall is inspired by the folklore of the Tiburtine region.
Undoubtedly, the most rewarding part of visiting Villa d'Este is the upper garden and its breath-taking structures like the Fountain of the Bicchierone, Loggetta of the Cardinal, Loggia of Pandora, Grotto of Diana, and the Grotto of Aegle and Aesculapius. Although the statue of Aegle now rests in the Louvre and Aesculapius in the Vatican Museum.
The lower garden underwent a massive renovation at the start of the 17th century and replaced its pergolas and pavilion with the famous Rotonda of the Cypresses. Along with the rustic fountains, another unmissable feature is the Fountain of Diana of Ephesus and its innumerable breasts that spout jets of water.
This fountain depicting the Tiburtine mountains and important rivers of Tivoli is an architectural masterpiece. The oval stone basin from which the water flows resembles an overflowing glass of champagne.
A spectacular achievement of its time, the hundred fountains feature close to 300 spouts of varying designs along with three different levels where water flows from the uppermost level in descending order.
This visually stunning fountain is a miniature version of Rome replete with the statue of Rome Victorious, a boat with an obelisk mast, Apennine mountains, and a statue of Aniene, the river god.
Its masterful design contains a central fountain shooting water high in the air and four minuscule dragon sculptures at its foot, jetting spouts of water from their mouths.
Its hallmark is engineer Luc Leclerc’s automaton creation that made the bronze birds (perched on olive branches) and the mechanical owl in the niche appear to sing a song together.
Created by Alberto Galvani, the central niche of the fountain enacted the scene of Persephone, goddess of fertility, being kidnapped by Pluto. However, only the statue of Pluto remains today.
It is an exemplary fountain that produces sounds similar to the musical notes of an organ every 2 hours with only the movement of water. It is a must-see for visitors!
The idea for the cascading fountain came from Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 1600s. Today, the imposing structure is supported by powerful water jets and three fish ponds.
It is a collection of rustic fountains and one of the few things in the lower garden left untouched during its massive overhaul in the 17th century.
The alluring gardens captured the imagination of artists throughout the centuries and were reflected in the paintings of Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Pierre-Athanase Chauvin, etc.
Address: Piazza Trento, 5, 00019 Tivoli (RM), Italy
A. You can buy Villa d'Este tickets online for the best offers and zero hassle.
A. There are multiple Villa d'Este tickets available in various price ranges, starting from €17.50.
A. Yes, Villa d'Este tickets are available online.
A. Yes, Villa d’Este skip-the-line tickets are available online.
A. Yes, the Villa d’Este ticket allows you to visit the gardens and all its various fountains at your own leisure.
A. Villa d’Este is famous for its Renaissance gardens, frescoed paintings, and astounding fountains that were very much ahead of its time.
A. Some of the most spectacular features of Villa d’Este are the Oval Fountain, Upper Garden, Fountain of the Organ, Fountain of Neptune, etc.
A. Villa De Este features 51 mesmerizing fountains, 64 waterfalls, 364 water jets, 220 basins, and 398 spouts, all of which are powered by gravity.
A. Villa D Este is a 16th century Renaissance palace of immense historical and cultural significance and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001.
A. Villa d’Este is located at Piazza Trento, 5 in the town of Tivoli, around 30 kilometers from Rome.
A. Visitors are allowed to take pictures, but care should be taken to avoid physical contact with the structures. Also, the use of tripods and flash is prohibited.
A. Villa D Este is an exquisite example of Renaissance architecture, Mannerist paintings and features extensive landscaped gardens that resemble the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.