Laying just 40 km from Rome, at the foot of Monte Catillo, immersed in nature, Tivoli is a coffer just waiting to be opened to unveil its magnificence. Adriano, perhaps the most enlightened Roman Emperor of all time and the main character of the world-famous novel “Memoirs of Hadrian” by Marguerite Yourcenaur, chose Tivoli as its pleasant retreat to rest after the labours of the dominion. The Villa can still communicate the glories of that old past. Take a moment to contemplate the Canopo, an artificial canal-swimming pool, surrounded by an astonishing colonnade with Roman statues that evokes the estuary of the river Nile. Continue to the Teatro Marittimo, a small island within an artificial lake, once connected to the land with a small mobile bridge. Adriano used to come here to stay alone, relax and read his beloved Greek authors. But Tivoli was not loved only by Roman Emperors and nobles. During the XVI, the noble family D’Este chose the same location to build one of the most breath-taking examples of Renaissance architecture, the Villa d’Este. Both the Villa and the Gardens are a masterpiece of Italian art and they became a universal model for aristocratic villas all over in Europe in the following centuries.
Who ruled Italy before Romans? If you were amazed by the majestic appearance of Imperial Rome, visiting Tarquinia & Cerveteri will unveil a time when Rome was a little village, ruled by foreigner kings. Even nowadays, the true origin of these ancient people, the Etrurian, is a mystery. Some say they were coming from Asia. Other sustain that they were indigenous from Italy. However, visiting these two extended necropoleis is a unique experience, a dive into history, full of mystery and fascination. The whole archaeological site is packed with burial chambers whose walls are richly decorated. Among the many, you cannot miss the Tomb of Leopards in Tarquinia and let yourself be amazed by the gentle, harmonic frescoes and decoration on the walls, surrounding you from all sides, depicting a rich, cheerful Etrurian banquet, with musicians and wine. Continuing your visit to Cerveteri, you will find one of the most significant historical evidence of Etrurian customs and material culture. Etrurians used to be buried with their belongings, but here, instead of putting real objects, they decorated the walls with stucco reliefs of the same objects, letting us have a precious, deep insight of their daily life.
Tarquinia & Cerveteri
“Voi che pel mondo gite errando vaghi di veder meraviglie alte et stupende venite qua, dove son facce horrende, elefanti, leoni, orchi et draghi”.
Tourists travelling the world, looking for wonders, cannot miss the Bomarzo Sacred Park, as the prince Orsini stated. Built-in the 16th century by one of the most noble Roman family, the Park is a hymn to Renaissance and Baroque art. But do not expect to find harmony, beauty and perfect proportions. On the contrary, Bomarzo is a Renaissance horror playground. The beautiful nature of the site is inhabited by countless kinds of monsters and bizarre: there are sphinxes, Greek gods and nymphs, dragons, orcs, elephants, leaning houses. Dive into this grotesque and let yourself be amazed by this fantastic world of terror, surprise, astonishment, and fun. Just 18 km from the capital, during a sunny day, is a perfect place for the whole family. History, art and nature mix together with fun and bizarre, making the Bomarzo Sacred Park, as another bizarre art genius, Salvador Dalì observed a nonpareil invention in history. A place you cannot miss if you are looking for uniqueness.