Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rome off the tourist track...a trip to Tivoli, Part Two - Hadrian's Villa.

Part two of my day trip to Tivoli. To reach Hadrian’s Villa, take an orange (local bus) from Tivoli's Piazza Garibaldi down the hill. It’s about 10 minutes.

For some reason I thought this would be a Villa, it’s more of a village. It’s a huge complex with over 30 buildings. Tickets to enter are 6-10 euros depending on whether or not there is a special exhibition. Once you walk up a long driveway there is a building to your right that has a model of the original grounds. Unbelievable.

This was the retreat of Emperor Hadrian and was built between 118-134 AD. He was quite the amateur architect and designed many of the buildings himself. He also loved to paint and was a fan of Greek literature.

After the fall of the Empire this area was ransacked for all it’s amazing treasures. It’s estimated that over 500 pieces of important artifacts from all over the world came from this one area.

This is a place where a tour guide or a very good guidebook will be helpful. There is so much to see. There were over 4 Km of underground roads connecting all the buildings, huge baths, gardens etc.

Here is more info on the site.

Getting back to Rome was a little tricky. I think the buses to Ponte Mammolo station run only every hour on Saturday. I missed one bus by two minutes and was standing in the hot sun for an hour. Fun! I probably should have checked the schedule before I got on the bus. I didn’t make that mistake again on my next day trip to Sperlonga.

I will post on that trip next week.

Here is the link to my Flickr page for more photos of this incredible place.

Part of the wall that used to surround the grounds. I wish someone was standing by it so you can really get a sense of the scale of it.

Emperor Hadrian's had an outdoor studio where he used to paint and draw. Are there any world leaders who are artistic today?

A pool. There were underground pipes that would heat the water up. I like the view of the columns and the hills in the background.


bleeding espresso said...

Gorgeous; especially love the last photos with those columns and hills as you said. I could spend weeks at a place like this (I'd hope they'd fill the pool for me though) ;)

joanne at frutto della passione said...

Great photos, I love day trips like this. I am always in absolute awe of the grandieur and majesty. Will anyone be as impressed by what we leave behind 2000 years from now?

bleeding espresso said...

Oops, last photo, singular, but hey I love 'em all anyway ;)

Italianissima said...

This is one of my favorite places near of Rome. You really do have to visit to fully appreciate the grandeur of this place. I was lucky enough to visit while a student taking an archeology course at St Joe's Univ in Philly. I was in high school at the time and taking the course for extra credit because there was a 2 week "on site" component to the course and I was dying to get to Italy that summer. Aaahhh good times! Thanks for sharing your pics!

J.Doe said...

Prety pictures!! It looks like you had a great day.

Paolo said...

Beautiful pics Carib.

You brought me the desire to see The gladiator again:)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

C would adore this. He loves ancient history!

Italiana Americana said...

The Photos are beautiful! I only went to Villa d'este but Hadrians villa looks pretty too! Which did you prefer? By the way the phots from Villa d'este are amazing!! =)

glamah16 said...

I wouldnt call him a leader,but Prince Charles paints.Winston Churchill painted as well.It would be agreat stress reliever if more did. You are so lucky to be surrounded by all this hsitory and beauty.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

bleeding espresso - thank you. I might have to go back when the weather is cooler. I was a little overwhelmed by the size.

joanne - grazie. I wonder what will be left behind. What will future generations think of our times? Of will humans be extinct by then?

italianissima - You got to spend two weeks on site? That's amazing. When I return I might pay for a tour but it would have to be a one-on-one or small group situation so we are not rushed and I can actually hear the guide.

j. doe - thanks. It was fun.

paolo - thank you. Loved the line "Are you not entertained!" from that movie.

jen - Ancient history lovers will lose their minds at this place. Seriously!

Italiana americana - grazie. The two are so different I can't really compare them. Villa d'Este takes only an hour or two to explore but Hadrian's Villa could take all morning.

glamah16 - that is right he does and he has a huge interest in architecture. I forgot the First Lady of France is a singer. It's too bad the arts are seen as elitist. I agree world affairs would be better if the leaders spent some time being creative instead of on war.