Less than one hour from Rome city center, over the beautiful colli laziali, Tivoli is the perfect destination for a day trip from Rome: a trip that will bring you to a favourite spot for the Imperial and Papal Rome jet – set.A Day Trip from Rome to Tivoli: an Emperor’s Villa, a Pope’s Villa as well…Far from the madding crowd: Hadrian’s Villa
Publius Aelius Hadrianus Augustus (76 – 138, Emperor between 117 and 138) wanted a retreat from the overcrowded Rome. The imperial Rome was the biggest metropolis of the known world: now, can you imagine up to 1.7 million of people (not to mention the animals!) without running water facilities and sewerage for the great majority of them?
Of course if you are the Emperor it is quite easy to find a solution: let your slaves build a new Villa for you, over the gentle slopes of Colli Laziali, the hills of Rome’s countryside.
In 128 the Villa became the Emperor’s official residence until his death. Hadrian’s successors used the Villa only sporadically, and it was repeatedly looted along the decline of the Roman Empire.
Between the looters not only the usual “barbarians”: in XVI Century the Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, the grandson of Pope Alexander VI – the most controversial Pope in the history (usually you are not supposed to have grandsons if you are a Pope…) – commissioned Villa D’Este. In Tivoli, again.