A former Franciscan monastery expropriated by the governor of Tivoli, the Villa d’Este was built during the sixteenth century in Tivoli as a stately Renaissance-style mansion with enchanting gardens. Nowadays, it is a museum listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
What to see
All the rooms in Villa d’Este are beautifully decorated with frescoes painted on the walls and ceilings. Although the most breath-taking part of the villa are the fantastic views of the garden and countryside below.
Strolling through the mansion’s lush gardens full of sculptures and over 500 fountains is the best part of the visit. The enclosure’s Hundred Fountains (Cento Fontane in Italian), located between the Fontana di Rometta and the oval fountain, are an architectural masterpiece. The garden also houses a superb waterfall, and the Fountain of the Organ (Fontana dell’Organo) is worthwhile discovering. In 1571, the fountain had a water organ installed in it, which sings astonishing everyone who hears it.
A perfect getaway
If you want to spend a day discovering Tivoli, Villa d’Este is a definite must. Exploring its gardens while enjoying the coolness of its fountains and the shade of its trees is extremely agreeable, especially in summer.
Villa d’Este is located just 19 miles (30 km) from Rome, making it a perfect getaway trip from the bustling city. Visitors can combine this visit with Villa Adriana, which is located very close by.
Getting to Villa d’Este
There are several ways of getting to Villa d’Este:
- Guided tour: This is the easiest option. It includes a hotel pick-up, transport there and back, guided tour in English and admissions tickets. The price per person is € 64 (US$ 74).
- Bus: The buses that travel from Rome to Tivoli leave from the bus station Ponte Mammolo (metro line B) and the company name is Cotral. It costs € 2 (US$ 2.30) per journey.
- Car rental: We recommend this option if you’re planning on renting a car for a few days, otherwise it is quite expensive and isn’t worthwhile.
Although it is also possible to go by train, it is quite slow, expensive and leaves you further away from Villa d’Este than the bus.
If you’d also like to visit Villa Adriana, there is a bus connecting both mansions for € 1 (US$ 1.20).
Tuesday - Sunday: 8:30 am - 7:30 pm.
Adults: € 10 (US$ 11.60)
EU citizens between 18-24 years old: € 2 (US$ 2.30)