It has been quite a while since I posted a new article on my travels in Italy at the end of last year. I had been a bit overcome with my other blog – A Poem and Drawing a Day, and recently I came to the end of the 365 days, so I find I now have a bit more creative headspace for other projects – including posting a bit more regularly on this blog.
I am going to get the ball rolling again with a post about Tivoli Gardens at the Villa d’Este, Rome.
According to friends we were hanging out with while in Rome, the estate was built by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este for his mistress and son – a bit of sixteenth century Italian scandal right there! I have not been able to confirm this ‘rumour’ via research (that is, that he built and renovated it for his mistress and son), but if he was anything like his grandfather, Pope Alexander VI – who had multiple misstresses and children, it is quite possible! Apparently during this time, and until recently it was an asset of the Catholic Church- according to our friends. It was purchased by the Italian State after World War I and restored, and refurnished with paintings from the storerooms of the Galleria Nazionale, Rome into the tourist attraction that it is today.
If you ever visit Rome, these gardens should definitely be on your ‘to do’ list. As well as the gardens and waterfalls being spectacular, the villa itself is furnished with period pieces and the walls are covered in masterpieces (like most other places in Italy). We visited during the afternoon, and looking out over the landscape from the villa walls we were treated to a sunset that was sublime.
So without any further ado, here are some images form our day visit… enjoy 🙂
PS: more information about Tivoli Gardens can be found here.