Tivoli – Villas, Waterfalls, and Centuries of History in One Charming Italian Town – Day 1

DSCN7852We hired a driver to pick us up in Fiuggi, and take us to our next destination, the charming town of Tivoli.  We booked a room at a lovely B&B, La Panoramica, which was located on the main street leading into the town, just before entering the Historical Center.DSCN7814While our room was lovely, the best aspect of it, for me, was the terrace that we had.  Standing out there, you had beautiful views of the town, and the surrounding countryside.DSCN7822DSCN7823DSCN7815A large statue of the Madonna was right outside of our building.  DSCN7821DSCN7824As we settled into the room, we could see storm clouds heading towards us, from the west.  DSCN7826DSCN7833DSCN7835DSCN7837For the next few hours, the rain came down in buckets!  When it finally began to let up, we headed out to explore the new place that we would call home for a few days.DSCN7855DSCN7857A few feet away from the B&B was the Tribunale Ordinario di Tivoli, or the Courthouse of Tivoli.  In front of the building, there was a bust of Nicolo Arnaldi, who just happened to be a former owner of the building that housed the B&B, in which we were staying.  The rooms, which made up the B&B, were actually part of his home, at one time. 2018-05-09-041120-IMG_11552018-05-09-041446-IMG_1157A bit further down, you will find the Giardino Pubblico, with the majestic Monumento ai Caduti, by Carlo Fontana, which dates from 1930.DSCN78602018-05-09-041703-IMG_11592018-05-09-041537-IMG_1158DSCN7863DSCN7865DSCN7866Of course, no park in Italy would be complete without a bust of Garibaldi!DSCN7867DSCN7868Tivoli has a long and fascinating history.  Legend has it that the town was founded by Catillus the Arcadian, who founded a city on this spot, which was named Tibur.  For a while, the Sabines ruled the town.  Various temples to their gods were built.   In 338 BC, the Romans invaded, and took over the territory.  Once this happened, the town quickly became the “go-to” place for Roman nobility and the wealthy, many of whom would built villas here.  In addition to Hadrian, whose villa is a MUST-SEE (but, more on that later), Maecenas and Augustus also had villas here, as well as the poet, Horace.  Closed to the public, as it is undergoing excavation work, the Temple of Hercules is best viewed from above.  The lookout along the car parking lot, near the Giardino Pubblico, allows a great view of the temple, and the Roman theatre that it contained.  DSCN7871DSCN78762018-05-09-042755-IMG_1169The Scuderie Estensi dates from 1621.  The building was built by Alessandro d’Este, as a stable for his family’s horses.  Now, it functions as an event space.  While we were there, a classical music, singing competition was taking place.  Behind it, you can see part of the Rocca Pia.  This castle-like fortress was built by Pope Pius II Piccolomini, in 1461.  The building was later used as a prison, which was finally closed in 1960.2018-05-09-043201-IMG_1174DSCN80542018-05-09-043029-IMG_1170Piazza Garibaldi is situated right at the entrance to the Centro Storico, or the Historical District.  The main feature of the square is the Arco dei Padri Costituenti, a large arch shaped sculpture, by Arnaldo Pomodoro, which dates to 2009. DSCN7881DSCN7883DSCN7884DSCN7885DSCN7888DSCN7887DSCN78892018-05-09-045652-IMG_1189For dinner, we went to Trattoria da Gabriella, which, according to Trip Advisor, was one of the top restaurants in the city.  It is a place with a set price menu — 3 courses for one price (€15 for meat, and €20 for fish).  While the restaurant was filled with people, and some of them seemed to really enjoy the food, we found it to be one of the least exciting meals we’ve ever had in Italy.  Simply put — you get what you pay for!2018-05-08-141814-IMG_11502018-05-08-141821-IMG_11512018-05-08-144309-IMG_11522018-05-08-144317-IMG_1153


Next up: A visit to the beautiful Villa d’Este!


Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.  If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for posts for more posts from the Lazio region, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!

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