Tivoli: Villa d’Este — the world of fountains

“It’s easier to conquer Rome having Tivoli than to conquer Tivoli having Rome,” said Pope Pius II, building in the fifteenth century a fortress in this small town majestically crowded with its steep little streets at the edge of a high plateau at the point where Aniene river falls wildly from it to the plain below, where Rome can be seen in the distance.

It is not surprising, then, that the amazing views, location and strategic importance meant that the powerful from different centuries founded their estates here. The most fabulous, reaching in sometimes the level of absurdity, is the Villa d’Este built in the 16th century for Cardinal d’Este. The palace is full of more or less successful frescoes covering every square centimeter of the wall, but the biggest disbelief is the water garden located on a steep slope below. It is full of dozens of smaller and larger, all kinds of waterfalls and fountains.

(with Kasia, May 2019)