This tour, usually includes “VILLA ADRIANA” and “VILLA D’ESTE”.
“VILLA ADRIANA” was constructed by the Emperor Hadrian between the second and third decades of the 2nd Century AD as his retreat, in the town originally called Tibur. The Villa which was a really huge complex (250 acres) shows many different architectural orders, mostly Greek and Egyptian. The best preserved parts of the Villa are a pool named “CANOPO” an Egyptian city, and an artificial grotto, named “SERAPEUM” a temple dedicated to the God Serapis. In the 16th Century the Villa was used as a quarry by the Cardinal Ippolito II D’Este to construct the wonderful “VILLA D’ESTE”
“VILLA D’ESTE” was commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este son of Lucrezia Borgia and grandson of Pope Alexander VII, in the middle of the 1500. He wanted create a palatial setting surrounded by a spectacular terraced garden wich took advantage of the dramatic slope but required innovation in bringing a sufficient water supply,which was employed in cascades, water tanks, troughs and pools, water jets and fountains. After many years of disuse, “Villa d’Este”was finally purchased by the Italian State after World War I, restored and refurnished with paintings from the storerooms of the “Galleria Nazionale”.Today is one of the series of great 17th century villas with water-play structure in the hills surrounding the Roman countryside.