This tour includes English-speaking driver & Air-conditioned Mercedes (or similar make) at your disposal for 9/10 hours -
ENTRANCE FEES OF VILLA D’ESTE AND VILLA ADRIANA ARE NOT INCLUDED
You'll meet Your English-speaking driver and his Mercedes car (full optional) by the cruise ship in Civitavecchia. Then transfer to Castel Gandolfo where You'll have 2 hours of free time to visit it and 1 hour of free time for the lunch.
Castel Gandolfo is known for the presence of the Pope's summer residence, and many other summer residences, villas and bungalows built starting from the seventeenth century, making Castel Gandolfo, one of the most popular resorts in Lazio. There are in Castel Gandolfo several places of archaeological and artistic points of interest. After the lunch our driver will take you to Tivoli where you'll have 3 hours of free time to visit the beautiful Villa Adriana and Villa D'Este.
The Villa d'Este is one of the greatest examples of Italian Garden, famous worldwide for the extraordinary marriage of architecture, green and water. For outstanding value , in 2001 UNESCO included it in the list World Heritage. The complex was built by Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este ( Ferrara 1509 - Rome 1572), after his appointment as Governor of Tivoli. Second son of Alfonso I, Duke of Ferrara and Lucrezia Borgia (daughter of Pope Alexander VI), since his birth he
was destined to the ecclesiastic life and only 10 years later he was appointed archbishop of Milan. He studied humanism and he was sent to the French court where he became a good friend of the king Francis I'. When Ippolito II d'Este was 30 years old, the pope Paul III, accepting the demand of the king of France, granted him the appointment as cardinal. The protection of the French king consented to Ippolito to accumulate charges and ecclesiastical benefits that made him one of the richest cardinals of the his period. He was munificent patron of artists and writers. The site chosen for the construction of the Villa d'Este was the area called the Valle Gaudente: the wild terraced lands seemed suitable to create a garden of fountains. For that, it was immediately assessed the possibility of capturing water from the river Aniene, the only source of supply which can meet the enormous demand for water. Carried out the enormous works for leveling the land and creating the terraces with very heavy earth moving of the rock, the work was made simultaneously in different parts of the garden, employing the workers for almost three years (1563-1565): they also prepared the water mains and realized the underground conduit, along more than 200 meters. In the palace they proceeded in the years 1565-1566.
The creation of the villa with its fountains was conducted following a symbolic and allegorical program and it was developed by Pirro Ligorio, in order to dignify the person of Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este. In recent years the Cardinal d'Este, suffering from gout and he found solace in the spiritual meditations, in letters and erudite conversation with intellectuals of his court. In his will he left this villa to his nephew Cardinal Luigi d'Este (1538-1586) who carried out some other restoration works.
The splendid property has belonged to several cardinals over the years until the end of World War I, when it passed to theItalian State. In 1922 an extensive restoration campaign occurred. A new radical restoration took place after World War II to repair the damage caused by the bombing of 1944.
Today, the Villa d'Este hosts regular cultural events such as exhibitions, concerts, conventions and conferences. In summer, thanks to the lighting of the garden, you can enjoy the charm of a nocturnal visit.
The Villa Adriana was built at Tibur (modern-day Tivoli) as a retreat from Rome for Roman Emperor Hadrian in the early 2nd century. It is a unique testimony to the grandeur of the architectural and decorative level of the Roman art. Today it looks like an enormous , immense park, extending over 80 hectares and dotted with several Roman ruins, spas and houses of the eighteenth century, in an atmosphere that still retains much of the charm.
Villa Adriana includes also the Maritime Theatre, an artificial island (a real private emperor’s annex) ; the complex of the Canopus, composed of a large rectangular pool surrounded by sculptures and in which the fascinating structure of the Serapeum is reflected. The Museum of Villa Adriana displays extraordinary examples of the decorations of the villa (open from april to november).
In 1999 Villa Adriana was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco .
Take water, wear comfortable shoes, take camera. In low season warmer clothing may be required.