Located just outside of Tivoli, Villa Adriana is a collection of classical buildings created in the second century under the orders of Emperor Hadrian. It was a “small town” consisting of palaces, fountains and baths, as well as other structures that mimic various Greek and Egyptian architectural styles.
The construction of Villa Adriana came about due to the fact that Adriano was unhappy in the palace on Palatine Hill, and he created it as his place of retreat. After his death it was used by various successors, but eventually fell into disuse and ended up in ruins, which were looted.
What to see in Villa Adriana
With an area of 120 hectares, on which there are reconstructions of the emperor’s favourite Greek and Egyptian buildings, Villa Adriana is a great architectural treasure that requires several hours for a visit.
One of the most noteworthy parts of the villa, known as Canopus, is a copy of a sanctuary located near Alexandria. It is an enormous pool surrounded by columns and decorated with figures of the caryatids.
Among the libraries, bathrooms, guest houses, gardens, fountains and ponds stands a structure known as the Maritime Theatre, a circular pool surrounded by columns with an island in the middle. On the island there is a small Roman villa.
Splendour of the past
Although during the sixteenth century many of the statues and marble elements of Villa Adriana were looted to decorate the nearby Villa d'Este, you can still see how magnificent the villa was during its peak.
If you have time to make a day trip to Tivoli, we believe it is definitely worth visiting both Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este.
Getting to Villa Adriana
There are several ways to get there from Rome:
- Take a day trip: The easiest way to get there is by taking a tour that includes hotel, transport, an official guide and tickets. It costs € 87 (US$ 103.50) per person and can be booked here: Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este Day Trip.
- Bus: The buses that make the journey from Rome to Tivoli are from the Cotral company, and they depart from the Ponte Mammolo station (Metro line B). The fare is €2 each way. These buses are accessible with the Roma & Piu Pass card.
Rent a car: this option is a good one if you have it rented for more than just one day, if not, it's not worth it. You can rent a car clicking here.
Although it's possible to go by train, we'd say it's not worthwhile. It's more expensive, slower, and leaves you further out than the bus.
If you are visiting Villa d'Este, there is a bus that connects both villas for €1.
November to January: 9 am to 5 pm
February: 9 am to 6 pm
March and October: 9 am to 6:30 pm
April and September: 9 am to 7 pm
May to August: 9 am to 7:30 pm
EU Citizens (ages 18 – 26): €4