Tivoli: Villa Adriana
Tivoli. For millennia, the hilltop town of Tivoli has been a summer escape for rich Romans, as amply demonstrated by its two Unesco World Heritage sites: Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este.
Villa Adriana. Many powerful Romans had villas around Tivoli in ancient times, and this site is Emperor Hadrian’s summer residence. It set new standards of luxury when it was built between AD 118 and 134, even given the excess of the Roman Empire – it covered around 300 acres, so it was more like a town than a summer house.
A great traveller and enthusiastic architect, Hadrian personally designed much of the complex, taking inspiration from buildings he’d seen, in Greece and Egypt. The pecile, a large porticoed pool area where the emperor used to stroll after lunch, was a reproduction of a building in Athens. Similarly, the canapo is a copy of a sanctuary of Serapis near Alexandria, with a long canal of water, originally surrounded by Egyptian statues, representing the Nile.
The lovely lady in the middle is our Nubia, she wrote the poem I posted several days ago:
Judith, this picture is for you to show you that your friends are enjoying the trip:
We all enjoyed taking pictures in this place, especially with the sculpture of the handsome man:
To the east of the pecile is one of the highlights, Hadrian’s private retreat, the Teatro Marittimo. Built on an island in an artificial pool, it was originally a minivilla accessible only by swing bridges, which the emperor would have raised when he felt like retreating into utter solitude.
Source: Discover Rome. Experience the best of Rome. Lonely Planet. Written and researched by Abigail Blasi and Duncan Garwood.