Explore a jaw-dropping ancient villa and a luxurious Renaissance palace on this spectacular day trip from Rome
starting time 9.30
duration 7 hours including travel & lunch break
If you’re looking to escape the bustling chaos of Rome for the day, then do as the Romans have done for centuries and head to the beautiful town of Tivoli, perched in the hills just 20 miles from the Eternal City. Boasting breathtaking views over the Roman countryside, Tivoli is world famous for its two wonderful historical villas. The awe-inspiring Hadrian’s Villa is the largest and best preserved villa of the ancient world, where the travel-loving emperor lived out his days in the lap of luxury surrounded by temples, baths and theatres. Nearby is the equally spectacular 16th-century Villa d’Este. An audacious Renaissance attempt to rival Hadrian’s Villa, its magnificent gardens and fountains give a unique insight into the refined culture of Italy’s golden age. So whether you love wandering around ancient ruins or prefer the opulent charms of Renaissance gardens, our special Tivoli tours the perfect day trip from the city!
A car, driver and guide will be waiting for you at your hotel to begin this private tour of Tivoli's Hadrian's Villa and the Villa D’Este. At the end of the tour you will be taken back to your hotel.
Hadrian’s Villa is without question one of the most spectacular Roman ruins in the world: far more than just a house, the Villa is in reality a sprawling estate featuring a palace, theatres, expansive gardens, pools and fountains. When the emperor Hadrian wanted to escape from the heat and the political turmoil of Rome, he would retreat to his private villa in the countryside. But Hadrian’s villa wasn't merely a pleasurable summer retreat: preferring the calm of Tivoli to the noise and bustle of Rome, Hadrian ruled the Roman Empire from the villa in the later years of his reign.
The enormous complex of the villa was Hadrian’s fantasy project - a blend of architectural materials and styles inspired by his travels through the empire. On your private tour of Hadrian’s Villa you’ll explore buildings and gardens spread over an area twice the size of Pompeii. Along the way you'll learn about the life, career and artistic tastes of the emperor.
A day trip from Rome to Tivoli is the perfect opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of Roman history, while exploring the atmospheric ruins of Hadrian’s Villa. As you walk through the vast arcades and visit the Throne Room, your personal guide will explain Hadrian’s legacy as an emperor, from his military career to his art collection. More than five hundred pieces of statuary have been unearthed here over the centuries, and the art and architecture of the villa have inspired countless writers and artists. Exploring evocative sites such as the Private Library and the Maritime Theatre on your Tivoli day trip, you’ll be captivated by the unique atmosphere of the villa and its gardens. The famous Canopy is another highlight; this lake surrounded by arcades and statues is perhaps one of the most beautiful spots in all of Italy.
Your private guide will also discuss the personal life of Hadrian, including his famous doomed love affair with the young Antinous. Visiting Hadrian’s Villa on a private tour allows you to discover the human side of the emperor, creating a more complete picture of Hadrian. The explanations of your guide will also give you a deeper understanding of the historical events at the time, as they explain how Rome was able to dominate the world.
A very different kind of villa is the next stop on your Tivoli private tour. A walk through the historic town centre takes us to Villa d’Este, a 16th century villa renowned for its extraordinary beauty. Villa d’Este was the creation of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este (son of the Duke of Ferrara and the infamous Lucrezia Borgia), who commissioned Pirro Ligorio, an architect and classical scholar, to design a new villa and gardens exceeding even the grandeur of Hadrian’s Villa.
A walk through the gardens of Villa d’Este gives us some idea of what Hadrian’s Villa must have been like at the height of its splendour. These extravagant gardens contain 500 fountains, creating a sense of luxury, wealth, and limitless imagination. On your walk through the shady gardens, your personal guide will explain how the cardinal’s vision became a reality. Visiting Villa d’Este will also give you a new perspective on Hadrian’s Villa, as you discover how Cardinal d’Este stole many statues and monuments from the archaeological site in order to decorate his own gardens.
On your Tivoli Day Trip from Rome you’ll also have the chance to explore the opulent rooms of Villa D’Este, which are decorated with magnificent frescoes. As you stroll through these spectacular rooms and admire the views from the Cardinal’s bedroom window, your guide will tell you about the public and private life of d’Este, a patron of the arts and lover of luxury who aspired to become pope.
Following in the footsteps of the emperor Hadrian and Cardinal d'Este, this day trip from Rome is the ideal way to escape the bustle of the city, enjoying the beauty and tranquillity of these beautiful villas and their gardens.
To learn more about Tivoli and it's wonderful historical villas, check out our Insider Guide to Tivoli.
meeting pointYour guide and driver will meet you at your hotel.
5.0 (11 reviews)
I greatly enjoyed my day trip to Tivoli with Luca. Luca and our driver picked me up at my hotel and we first visited Villa Adriana , then had lunch at a famous restaurant whose outdoor dining area overlooks temples and Tivoli's gorge (the Through Eternity office staff had made a reservation for us), and then visited Villa D'Este. I studied archaeology at university so particularly appreciated visiting Villa Adriana with Luca since he is an archaeologist. We primarily visited the gardens at Villa D'Este, which are stunning. It was great to see both villas in one day since, as Luca pointed out, many things were taken from Villa Adriana to decorate Villa D'Este. Luca was extremely knowledgeable about everything we visited, and enthusiastically went into more detail about the archaeological aspects of Villa Adriana than I imagine he usually does. I highly recommend this day trip to anyone interested.
Fabulous day trip from Rome. A beautiful experience from start to finish. I would and will recommend this excursion to everyone. Rob is terrific as a guide, he knows how to make the day entertaining and educational! An absolute must!