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The gardening art of the renaissance reaches its peak of development of the unique Villa d’Este and its gardens.

 

The Villa is in Tivoli,  only 30km from the italian capital, located on a steep slope, with a breathtaking view of the Rome valley.

The town of Tivoli, known for its rich architecture heritage -historical monuments dating back to ancient Rome, many ruins and the remains of the mighty ancient empire. This is the favorite place of the roman emperors for their summer homes and palaces, because of the unique location of the town on the hills and the saturation of therapeutic  springs.

 


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Villa d’Este is a true masterpiece of italian renaissance gardens and is added to the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage.

The building of Villa d’Este begins durring 1540 by order of the rich and educated cardinal Ippolito d’Este, son of Lucrecia Borgia and grandson of papa Alexander VI.

The cardinal being know for his constant striving towards showing off, that is why till this day you can still see the d’Este family crest atop of each one of the fountains in the wonderful garden.

 

 

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The chief architect of the Villa ( Lavio Agresti ), completes his masterpiece in 1572, by creating the impressive palace, surrounded by the fabulous terraced garden, using the maximum of the given terrain. The building itself is build on the highest place on the hill, hanging above the garden.  The interior is full of splendidly painted and decorated ceilings, and the majority of french paintings surprise the visitors with their interesting and diverse stories.

 

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The most impressive part of Villa d’Este however, remains its garden – the terraced composition, filled with diverse park elements, picturesque forms and truly inspiring water effects.

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The gardens themselves are the work of one of the most famous park builders of the time – Pirro Ligorio. For inspiration he used the  located nearby Villa Hadriana ( summer residence of emperor Hadrian ).  The huge progress of the roman hydraulic engineering technique has had a major influence. The construction of the water areas and fountains, Logirio worked alongside with Horacio Oliveira, a famous engineer and designer of fountains.

 

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The composition of the garden is developed on 5 terraces, the main entrance is located by the lowest terrace, from where you can cover the entire garden space.

From the second terrace, the real garden begins, which due to the steep terrain is build via a complex system of ramps and ladders.

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The third terrace develops from both sides of the main axis along the entire length of the garden and forms The Hundred Fountains alley. The entire garden is covered in greenery, statues and different impressive water attractions.

Cardinal d’Este’s favorite place was, Rometta – the little illusory Rome carved in the rock, covered in fountains, where you can even find the Colosseum, Temple of Vesta, The Pantheon and other emblematic of Rome monuments.

 

Driven by his nostalgia for the ancient city, the cardinal spent a lot of time, especially in the late Sunday afternoons, in the niches of Rometa and watching outlines of Rome in the distance.

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