A description of the gardens of Villa d'Este at Tivoli. The magnificent Villa d'Este in Tivoli is one of Italy's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most noteworthy garden in this regard is that of the Royal Palace of. Tivoli Day Trip from Rome: Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este. Day Trips . But my goodness, the gardens and the fountains are stunning! It's unbelievable to think.


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The design of this fountain became a model for the Teatro delle Villa d este garden, the name given to the main fountains of several villas at Frascati see that of Villa Torlonia.

The duct carrying the water acrosss the gardens was meant to represent the Aniene River which after passing from Tivoli empties into the Tiber near Ponte Salaro. The river had two other names Albuneo villa d este garden Ercolaneo and so Ligorio designed three parallel ducts with water spilling from one to the other.


It is not necessary to know their symbolic meaning to be fascinated by Le Cento Fontane, the most photographed site of the gardens. Fontana dei Draghi The Garden villa d este garden the Hesperides is mentioned in the Eleventh Labour of Hercules; it was guarded by a sleepless dragon and Cardinal Ippolito wanted to celebrate the Labour in a large fountain on the axis leading to the palace.

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  • Tivoli - Villa d'Este - the Gardens
  • Villa d'Este: A Triumph of the Baroque

He was impressed by the fountains and their mechanisms, much less by their mythological references. Cardinal Ippolito passed away a few months later and the villa was inherited by his nephew Cardinal Luigi who decided to turn the sleepless dragon of villa d este garden Eleventh Labour into the dragons of the coat of arms of Gregory XIII.

Villa Mondragonewhich the pope started to build after his visit to Villa D'Este, has a similarly named fountain. Fontana di Plutone e Proserpina Ligorio and his assistants had to work hard to develop a series of terraces on the very steep slope of the villa d este garden.

Villa d'Este

The bare walls villa d este garden the terraces would not have been consistent with the elaborate decoration of the gardens and therefore Ligorio designed some fountains which were placed inside gigantic architectural frames.

The spiral columns of Fontana di Plutone are almost identical to the bronze columns designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for the canopy of St. Examples of the grotto decoration: Perseus and Andromeda in Grotta di Diana Ligorio designed several grottoes, artificial caves which provided a fresh haven in summer.

The decoration of these grottoes is called tartar because it resembles the incrustations formed by acid potassium tartrate on the sides of casks after the fermentation of wine.

A famous example of this kind of decoration can be seen in the Boboli gardens in Florence. The grottoes were not aimed at recreating a real cave and they were decorated with paintings and mosaics. Villa d este garden in Grotta di Diana illustrated some of the Metamorphoses of Ovid, a repository of subjects for Renaissance writers and artists.

Villa d'Este, Tivoli - UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Andromeda was rescued by Perseus, who married her. At her death she was turned into a constellation by Athena. It is decorated villa d este garden mosaics representing the golden apples of the Hesperides which can be seen in the image used as background for this page; right the reconstructed mechanism Fontana della Civetta little owl was perhaps the most celebrated jeu d'eau water joke of Villa d'Este: The pressure of water was used to activate an organ which played tunes similar to the songs of birds there were bronze birds on the two trees.

With its impressive concentration of fountains, nymphs, grottoes, plays of water, and villa d este garden, it constitutes a much-copied model for European gardens in the mannerist and baroque styles.

Villa d'Este, Tivoli

The imposing constructions and the series of terraces above terraces bring to mind the hanging gardens of Villa d este garden, one of the wonders of the ancient world.

Defined by terraces, staircases, and grand slopes and promenades, the garden evokes the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, while the water transport system, with an aqueduct and a tunnel under the city, resembles the highly-advanced engineering of the Romans.

In Antiquity, water from the Aniene flowed to the fountain, transported via canal.

Originally, statues were kept on the interior, including one of Diana the Huntress, but they were later acquired by Pope Benedict XIV, who had them transferred to the Capitoline Museums in Rome.