There is a place not far from Rome, where one hundred fountains rest in a row and grand promenades decorate the slope over a town called Tivoli. There is a garden that will make you wonder how and a design that will make you wonder who. You will want to know more about the times long ago and a place made from a fantasy. You’ll dream of what it would have been like to live in a home made of such splendor. It will clear your head from the noise of the city and refresh your heart with a love for nature. I have been to many estates and gardens on my travels and the Villa D’Este has risen to the top in beauty and elegance. The palace and garden are a UNESCO world heritage site for their remarkable Renaissance style and influence on future development of garden design throughout Europe. It is one of the earliest and best examples of the Renaissance culture. If you travel to Rome, a visit to this wonderland will be worth your while, I promise.
How to get there:
I took the metro line B in Rome to the Tiburtina train station. My one way ticket was €2.60 for a 50 minute, air conditioned journey out to the countryside. There is a 20 minute walk through the town of Tiburtina to get to the villa. The walk is pleasant, through the old part of town and also affords some nice views of a waterfall, park and charming narrow Italian streets.
When to arrive:
While the villa is not as busy as some attractions in Rome, you will want the place to yourself. Arrive when they open at 8:30am and head straight for the gardens. Once the sun starts to rise later in the morning, you can walk back up to the villa and enjoy the art and history it has to offer out of the heat of the day. You can either have lunch in one of the many restaurants in town, or make it back in time for a meal in Rome.
Make sure to bring insect spray. I look calm and serene in the photo above, but I received about 10 bites for that shot.