My favorite attraction, when visiting Tivoli, is Villa Gregoriana. This immense park has it all — waterfalls, ruins, history, nature, all accessible by following the numbered itinerary that one is given at the ticket office. There are two entrances to this park, but I recommend starting your visit off at the main ticket office and entrance just to the left, after crossing Ponte Gregoriano. For some reason, entering from the opposite end feels like you are exploring in reverse, and will take away some of the “wow” factor that you will experience if you follow the map from the main entrance, or “Falls Entrance,” as they call it. Now, please, note (and this is VERY important)! This is not for those who are physically challenged, as there are quite a few steps leading down to the bottom of the ravine, and once at the bottom, you need to climb back up again! It is all quite enjoyable, and there are plenty of places to rest, and enjoy the incredible views (and they are just that!), but you will be tired, and feel as if you’ve had a good workout by the time you are through! Also, I recommend taking a bottle of water with you. For the next hour or so, you will be walking through nature, and there are no cafés, until you reach the exit on the other side. The visit takes approximately an hour and a half, maybe a little more, if you take all of the side trails that lead to even better views than the main ones. If you plan accordingly, visiting this spot can be a highlight of your Tivoli visit. I know, on the two times that I’ve been there, it has been my favorite!To the left of the gate entrance, you will find the ticket office. Buy your ticket, and then begin your journey through this beautiful park. One of the first glimpses you will get of the Grande Cascata, or the Great Falls, is from the top. A bit further down, you will get another chance to view the waterfalls from below. But, as I mentioned before, take the time to walk along the secondary trail, to view the falls from the top. As you continue to work your way down, you will find yourself at the remains of the Villa of Manlius Vopiscus, a Roman patrician who built his summer villa here. Take the time to explore the villa both, inside and out! The Grotta delle Sirene, or the Cave of the Sirens, is so called, because legend has it that the sound of the water, falling into the rocks below, is actually the screaming of the sirens, luring people to their deaths. The Tunnel of Miollis will lead you to Neptune’s Grotto, both of which are fascinating sights. Once you have climbed back to the top, on the other side of the ravine, you exit through the gift shop, and find yourself at the remains of the Temples of Vesta and Tiburnus. We headed back to the B&B, to rest a little, before having a delicious dinner at a small restaurant, on one of the streets of the Old Town. My plate of pork with prunes, and apples was just what I was craving, and it was a perfect ending to a fun day!
Next up: We explore Hadrian’s Villa, and then walk around the oldest section of Tivoli!
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 more posts from Tivoli, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!