Authored by:
Katie Amanda Smith

Katie Amanda Smith

This weekend we escaped the heat of the city to visit a picturesque little gem not far from Rome but where life has an entirely different pace.

That place is Tivoli! A town just 19 miles from the bustling city, Tivoli offers views of rolling hills, and a breath of fresh air, as well as the main reason for our visit - Villa D’Este.

This UNESCO World Heritage site was built in the 16th century and is famous for its gorgeous terraced Renaissance garden but especially its hundreds of fountains.

Before exploring the gardens and dreaming of moving into this amazing place, we explored the rooms of the Villa. Our teachers Simona and Jessica were on hand to explain the history and the stories behind some of the frescos adorning every inch of the walls and ceilings! 

Mythology was a huge influence here and scenes of Gods and Goddesses can be found in painted niches all around, as well as extending outside and lending their images to statues and fountains in the courtyards. 

The grounds cover a vast area and we explored the terraces, finding hidden alcoves and classical statues with fountains large and small. 

It was also a great spot to take some wonderful photos. 

While outside in the courtyards it wasn’t hard to imagine ourselves as aristocratic relatives of the Cardinal D’Este, whiling away the hours sitting among the fountains being waited on hand and foot. 

Instead we made our way to a trattoria for some delicious pasta al ragù and tiramisù before having a quick look around the town and a few of our students made the most of a local fruit market, sampling some of the juiciest peaches! 

Short but sweet as our visit was, Tivoli still captured our hearts for sure!

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