One of the places I KNEW we had to visit when we went to Italy was Villa d’Este. While the Villa d’Este in Lake Como is possibly more famous I am not talking about that one – I am referring to the 16th-century villa in Tivoli, just East of Rome. I had been to this magical gardens more than 10 years ago and knew that I wanted to go back. Even though it rained on this visit, as opposed to the beautiful blue skies on my first visit, we still had an amazing time.
Like many of the places I have visited this villa is a UNESCO World Heritage site and I loved reading the criteria as to why it made the list; an outstanding examples of Renaissance culture, its influence of garden design throughout Europe, and it is an exceptional example of Renaissance design and aesthetics. And in case that was not enough; “the Villa d’Este, with its palace and gardens, bears exceptional testimony to the Italian Renaissance and has been a source of artistic inspiration ever since its creation.” per their site.
And it is true, the building is gorgeous but seeing as I have more than 100 photos of the gardens and they are the key highlight, I am going to share my favorites of those. The villa was built as a palace by the governor of Tivoli in 1550 with the highlights for it being a true water garden. This was clearly as a success because more than 450 years later hundreds of fountains and water jets still flow in addition to gorgeous waterfalls. without further ado, the gardens:
While you can not see all of the 398 spouts, 364 water jets, 64 waterfalls, and 220 basins but I think these photos can give you a sense of the vast amount of water (and begin to imagine the half mile of canals that allow this water to flow).
Would you want to visit the gardens of Villa d’Este?