Tivoli: Villa d’Este
Villa d’Este. In Tivoli’s hilltop centre, the steeply terraced gardens of Villa d’Este are a superlative example of the High Renaissance garden, dotted by fantastical fountains that are all powered by gravity alone, without pumps. The villa was once a Benedictine convent, converted by Lucrezia Borgia’s son, Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, into a pleasure palace in 1550. It was extended by his various successors, but fell into romantic dilapidation in the 18th century.
During his stay in Tivoli, Franz Liszt, inspired by the gardens, wrote his compositions To the Cypresses of the Villa d’Este and The Fountains of the Villa d’Este.
One of the highlights is the 130m-long Vitalle delle Centro Fontaine – this Path of 100 Fountains is lined by uniquely carved, gargoylelike images, featuring grotesque faces, ships and eagles, among others, and joins the Fountain of Tivoli to the Rometta fountain.
One fountain (designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini) used its water pressure to play an organ concealed in the top part of the structure, and this plays regularly throughout the day. And we had a chance to listen to that organ music at 12:30 today.
And now let’s visit the small town of Tivoli:
And at the end of the tour we had Patricia’s traditional: Magnum Moment.