October 29, 2012


The Villa d'Este is a villa situated at Tivoli, near Rome, Italy. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 The villa features Renaissance architecture. It was commisioned by the grandson of Pope Alexander VI, Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este. The main entrance of the palatial villa leads to Appartamento Vechio ( Old Apartment) made for Ippolito d'Este.A private stair leads to the lower apartment(Appartamento Nobile) which had a direct access to the gravelled terraced and triumphal arc.

photography is not allowed here, but I managed to snap one because I'm not aware  of the rule not until the staff told me not to take photos.
stairs going to the lower portion of the villa
The impressive terraced garden is of Italian Renaissance design with lots of fountains.  Each fountains functions without using mechanical contrivances but instead uses the natural pressure and the communicating of tubes.
Among the gardens famous fountains are:
The Fontana dell'Ovato ("Oval Fountain") cascades from its egg-shaped basin into a pool set against a rustic nymphaeum.
Fontana del Bicchierrone ("Fountain of the Great Cup") loosely attributed to Bernini, where water issues from a seemingly natural rock into a scrolling shell-like cup.
top of the Fontana dell Bicchierrone
  The Rometta ("the little Rome") is an elaborate fountain complex depicting important statues of Rome. The boat represents the  Tiberina island, where the first group of the eternal city settled.

top view of Rometta

The Most Famous and visited fountains are:
Le Cento Fontane (The Hundred Fountains).is one of the most famous and most photographed fountain in the villa. It is  one hundred metres long linking the Fontana dell'Ovato and ROmetta. It is composed of one hundred fountains in different shapes like lilies, eagles, obeliskes and small boats.
Fontana Dei Draghi (Dragons Fountain) . The four winged dragon represents the coat of arms of the Pope's family, the Boncompagni. It is a hemicycle  formed by double circular stairs.It represents the eleventh effort of hercules who kills the one hundred heads dragonin order to get the gold apples from the garden of the Esperidi and give them to Euristeo
The Fontana di Nettuno(Neptune Fountain) probably is the most impressive among the fountains. It also features a waterfalls in the middle. In front of the fountain is the pescheria, three rectangular fishponds  at the lowest point of the gardens.
Fontana dell'Organo (Organ Fountain) . Its name was derived from the water mechanism device , Hydraulic organ, that produced organ sounds. 

The garden is laid out on  central axis with subsidiary cross-axes on a slope. To reach one fountain from another a series a stairs and walkways are located strategically in the garden.



It was one of those long- hot- summer days when I travelled to this charming small town of Tivoli near Rome. 
the cobbled stone narrow street
   Tivoli  is an ancient Italian town in Lazio, Italy famous for the Villa d'este and Villa Adriana. For first time visitors like me, it was very easy to find the famous garden. Just  follow the photos below (in that order) as your guide  and you will never be lost.
bus stops here, cross the street and you reach the piazza
you will arrive at this piazza
when you are in the piazza, this building is on your left and the Rocca Tower in is your right
follow the street on where the white building above until you see this monument
close up shot of the monument
on your left, assuming you are facing the monument is this signage toVilla d'este
follow the signage, turn left and you will arrive here.you will immediately see the gate to Villa D'este with the big jar on top of the concrete fence
statue near the entrance gate
the big jar

  At the town proper, one cannot missed the huge castle with four towers,the  Rocca Pia . It can be seen from  Piazza Garibaldi  which is adorned with a modern sculpture.
close up shot of one of the pillars
Rocca Pia
 The rustic city offers a great view of the Roman Campagna....
Visitors come here as a day trip from Rome which is just a 40 minute ride by bus. From Rome take the Metro Line B (Blue) for Rebibia and alight at the P. Mammolo station and  just follow the signage directing to the Cotai bus station. The bus stops right at the center of the town.