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Tivoli, Italy is a picturesque city located just outside of Rome. It’s home to some of the world’s most beautiful gardens and ancient ruins, making it an ideal destination for anyone looking for a day trip from Rome or a weekend getaway. From the classical ruins of Hadrian’s Villa to the lush beauty of the Villa d’Este, there are countless wonders to explore in Tivoli. 

Here are 15 of the best attractions in the area that you won’t want to miss.

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1) Hadrian’s Villa (Villa Adriana) – Explore Tivoli

Built in 120 AD, Villa Adriana was the private estate of the Roman emperor Hadrian and is one of the most impressive and complex Roman villas to have ever been built. Located just outside Rome in Tivoli, Villa Adriana is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and continues to be one of Italy’s top tourist attractions.

The site spans over 1,000 acres and includes more than 30 buildings, baths, courtyards, galleries, and pools. The central feature of Villa Adriana is the massive Canopus, an artificial lake that is connected to the Mediterranean Sea. There are also several domed pavilions and large terraces that overlook the pool.

Villa Adriana is home to many works of art, including mosaics, sculptures, and frescoes. The most renowned of these is the Farnese Bull, which is located in the Hall of Hercules. Other highlights include the Octagonal Room and the Temple of Venus.

Visitors can take guided tours of Villa Adriana that last between 1-3 hours and give you a detailed look at the history and architecture of the site. There is also a museum onsite that contains artifacts recovered from the excavations. 

For those looking to explore Hadrian’s Villa and learn more about the Roman Empire, it is an absolute must-see.

2) Villa d’Este Gardens

Villa d’Este Gardens

Villa d’Este Gardens

The gardens of Villa d’Este are a true marvel to behold. Located in the heart of Tivoli, they offer breathtaking views and some of the most impressive Italian Renaissance gardens you will ever see. The villa was originally built by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este in 1550 and remains a popular tourist destination today. 

The gardens feature an array of terraces, water features, grottoes, and numerous fountains, many of which were designed by Bernini himself. There is also a large pool surrounded by four levels of terraces with a breathtaking view of the entire villa and its surroundings. 

The most impressive feature of the gardens is the enchanting Hundred Fountains. These 100 stunning waterworks are lined up along three levels and cascade down the hillside. At their peak, they are illuminated by fireworks for a truly magical experience. You can also take part in other activities such as guided tours, educational workshops, and live musical performances at certain times of the year. 

Make sure to plan your visit to the Villa d’Este if you are visiting Tivoli, Italy – it is truly one of the most beautiful sights in the world.

3) Villa d’Este Palace – Explore Tivoli

The Villa d’Este Palace is a beautiful palace that overlooks the gardens of the Villa. The villa, built by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este in 1550, is an architectural masterpiece, full of wonders and decorated with frescoes and tapestries. Inside you can find luxurious rooms and halls that were used to entertain guests of the cardinal.

The most spectacular room is the Hall of Father of the Father, which was painted with frescoes by Giulio Romano in 1538. This room is known for its surreal paintings and it is considered one of the best works of Mannerism art. In addition to this, there are also several galleries with artwork from different periods and styles. 

The Villa d’Este Palace is a must-see attraction in Tivoli and it’s the perfect place to admire the beauty of Italian Renaissance architecture.

4) Tempio di Vesta

Located on the Acropolis of Tivoli, the Temple of Vesta is a stunning example of ancient Roman architecture. Dating back to the first century BC, the temple has been partially destroyed and renovated over the centuries, but it still retains much of its original beauty. The temple was dedicated to Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, home, and family in Roman mythology, and was likely used for religious and political purposes. The ruins are now part of the Villa Gregoriana, which also includes the Anian Falls, a spectacular waterfall located nearby. Visitors can admire the impressive columns of the temple from various vantage points, as well as explore the surrounding area. 

With its interesting history and breathtaking views, the Temple of Vesta is worth visiting during a trip to Tivoli.

5) Temple of the Sibyl – Explore Tivoli

The Temple of the Sibyl is a remarkable Roman structure located near the Temple of Vesta, on the highest point of the acropolis of Tibur Superbum, today’s Tivoli. It was built around the second century BC, with a characteristic rectangular shape and featuring six white marble columns. This temple, also known as the Aedes Sibyllae or Aedes Sibyllae Tiburtinae, was dedicated to the ancient sibyls—female prophets or oracles in Greek and Roman mythology.

The temple is an impressive structure that stands atop a large podium and was likely used as an observatory since it has spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. While its roof and walls have long been lost, the columns are still in good condition, making this temple a great example of Roman architecture. 

Besides its architectural and historical importance, the Temple of the Sibyl is also a major tourist attraction in Tivoli. Every year, thousands of visitors come here to admire its majestic columns and the spectacular views of the nearby cityscape. 

It is also a popular place for locals to enjoy a picnic or just relax in the sun.

6) Casa Gotica

Tivoli is a stunning Italian town, filled with history and impressive architecture. One of the most captivating structures in the town is the Casa Gotica, a late medieval house from the thirteenth century. The beautiful house is built in travertine and faces via Campitelli. A breathtaking staircase, known as a proffer, surrounds the house with battlements and arch masonry, as well as a niche.

The Casa Gotica covers three floors, with the ground floor used as a shop, the first accessible by an external staircase, and the second floor reached by an interior staircase. The structure’s beauty lies not only in its marvelous architecture but also in its stylistic elements. 

Just near the courtyard of the house is a beautiful fountain that reflects the elegance of Villa d’Este.

7) Gregorian Bridge – Explore Tivoli

The Gregorian Bridge is a beautiful stone structure located in Tivoli, Italy. Built-in 1834 by Pope Gregory XVI, the bridge connects the historic city center with Villa Gregoriana. The bridge has a single arch resting on two pillars and is made of travertine. 

The bridge has a rich history. On May 27, 1944, the bridge was blown up by retreating German troops. However, it was rebuilt and inaugurated just one year later with a triumphant procession carrying the image of Our Lady of Quintiliolo to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. To this day, there is still an annual religious procession that ends at the Gregorian Bridge, where there is a ritual blessing of the waters of the river Aniene.

The views from the bridge are stunning. Visitors can see the waterfall of Villa Gregoriana, as well as the ancient acropolis of Tivoli, including the Temple of Vesta and the Temple of the Sibyl. 

It’s a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Tivoli.

8) Enjoy a meal at L’angolino di Mirko

Address: Via della Missione, 3, 00019 Tivoli RM, Italia

If you’re looking for a traditional Italian dining experience while visiting Tivoli, then L’angolino di Mirko is the perfect spot. 

As soon as you enter the restaurant, you will be welcomed with a warm, friendly atmosphere and attentive staff who will ensure your experience is nothing short of amazing. The menu offers a wide range of classic Italian dishes including pasta, pizza, seafood, and more. No matter what you choose, you can be sure that it will be freshly made with only the best ingredients. 

L’angolino di Mirko also offers an extensive wine list to accompany your meal. 

At L’angolino di Mirko, you can experience classic Italian hospitality and authentic cuisine that is sure to leave you feeling satisfied.

9) Bleso Amphitheatre – Explore Tivoli

Located near Piazza Garibaldi, the Bleso Amphitheatre is an ancient Roman amphitheater that dates from the second century of the imperial age. The impressive structure could accommodate up to 2,000 spectators and may have been home to the Schola Gladiatorum, though there are no traces of it. 

Unfortunately, the original structure was destroyed during the construction of the Rocca Pia fortress commissioned by Pope Pius II Piccolomini in the 15th century. All that remains today are ruins, which were discovered in 1948 during works for the construction of a highway. Even so, visitors can still appreciate the grandeur and magnificence of this historical monument. 

The amphitheater is located at Via Aldo Moro – 00019 Tivoli – RM and is open to the public free of charge. It’s a great place to explore and appreciate a piece of history.

10) Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi

Piazza Garibaldi is a large public square located at the entrance of Tivoli. It is known for its greenery and flowerbeds, as well as for the three central fountains with their jets of water. It is dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi, who fled from his enemies here after the fall of the Roman Republic. From this square, you can admire a beautiful view of Rome and the countryside that surrounds the city.

A few steps away from Piazza Garibaldi lies some of the historical and religious symbols of Tivoli, such as the Rocca Pia with its underlying Bleso Amphitheater and the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The Convitto Nazionale Duca Amedeo di Savoia is also near the square; it was formerly used by the Italian bourgeoisie to send their children to receive school education, but today houses an Elementary School and Middle School.

Lastly, there is the Arch of the Constituent Fathers, a sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro created in 2009.

11) Chiesa di Sant’Andrea – Explore Tivoli

Among the many churches of Tivoli, the Chiesa di Sant’Andrea is renowned for being built on top of an ancient Roman structure. This structure is believed to have been the Baths of Diana, which are still visible in part at the restaurant Le Terme di Diana. The church is a small structure with a single nave and is dedicated to Sant’Andrea in Tivoli. According to tradition, the foundation of the church must be attributed to Santa Silvia, the mother of Sant’Andrea. 

The facade is a classic sixteenth-century style with four plastered Corinthian columns and a single entrance, as well as a bell tower in Lazio style on the outside. There are two side niches featuring statues of St. Andrew and the Virgin Mary. The facade was remodeled in the nineteenth century during some restorations of the church.

The interior consists of three naves with two rows of cipollini marble columns placed laterally, connected with pointed arches. It is believed that these columns were taken from Hadrian’s Villa, which was the place where a lot of material was collected.

12) Rocca Pia

For centuries, Rocca Pia has been a symbol of the powerful Piccolomini family who used it as a fortress to control the city of Tivoli from above. Located just a few steps from Piazza Garibaldi and the modern sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro, the fortress was built in 1461 and has a square structure with four round towers of different heights, the highest reaching 36.50 meters. In the past, it was accessed via a drawbridge but is now closed to the public and awaiting its next destination. 

With its impressive history and impressive height, Rocca Pia is one of Tivoli’s most notable attractions.

13) Villa Gregoriana – Explore Tivoli

Villa Gregoriana is a beautiful park located in Tivoli, Italy, at the foot of the city’s ancient acropolis. Commissioned by Pope Gregory XVI in 1835, Villa Gregoriana was created to restore the bed of the Aniene River, which had been damaged by the catastrophic flood of 1826. The villa is home to a variety of majestic waterfalls and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area. It is truly a sight to behold!

Visitors can wander through the park and take in the breathtaking views from the many terraces and overlooks throughout the grounds. They can also explore several caves and grottoes that were formed by the river, as well as take part in guided tours of the villa. Additionally, there are plenty of places to relax and enjoy a picnic or take part in activities like fishing. The stunning views make it easy to see why this park is one of the most popular attractions in Tivoli. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax or an exciting place to explore, Villa Gregoriana is sure to have something for everyone.

14) Tivoli Cathedral

Tivoli Cathedral is a magnificent architectural feat, located in the heart of the city. Built in the 12th century, this cathedral has a beautiful Romanesque façade and bell tower that rise over the city skyline. Inside, visitors will find a unique, light-filled interior that features stunning stained glass windows and ornate frescoes. The cathedral also houses a notable collection of religious relics, including an ancient Roman sarcophagus and a painting of Saint Lawrence.

More than that, The Tivoli Cathedral was declared a National Monument in 1925, and today is a popular destination for visitors to the city. Mass is celebrated daily and visitors can join the local faithful for a spiritual experience that is sure to stay with them long after their visit has ended. So, Tivoli Cathedral is truly a spectacular sight to behold and should not be missed when exploring the city of Tivoli.

15) Grande Cascata di Tivoli – Explore Tivoli

Just under half an hour’s drive from Rome, located in the park of the Villa Gregoriana, is a true gem that many people have yet to discover – the Grande Cascata di Tivoli. This impressive waterfall was commissioned by Pope Gregory Gregorio and helped him to rearrange the area into the Villa Gregoriana (which is now a part of the FAI heritage). The park features a romantic-style garden full of natural and artificial waterfalls, ravines, gorges, cliffs, and caves all surrounded by lush vegetation.

The Grande Cascata di Tivoli is especially breathtaking after periods of rain. It starts with a 120-meter drop into the so-called Valle dell’Inferno, a deep chasm at the foot of the ancient acropolis of Tivoli. From there, the Aniene River flows into the Roman countryside. It’s a stunning sight that must be seen in person to fully appreciate its grandeur.

Well, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an adventure-filled holiday, Tivoli has it all. To ensure you make the most of your time in this enchanting city, be sure to take lots of pictures! 

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