Hadrian's Villa

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Hadrian's Villa: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Rome: Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa with Lunch

1. From Rome: Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa with Lunch

Depart Rome and travel by bus to the lovely town of Tivoli, best known for the Renaissance Villa d'Este and the large Roman archaeological complex of Hadrian's Villa. Learn the rich history of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites from an expert guide. Built in the Roman settlement of Tibur, Hadrian's Villa served as a retreat from Rome for the Roman Emperor Hadrian during the 2nd and 3rd decades of the 2nd century AD, and would be where he governed the Roman Empire during his last years or reign. Explore the complex to see the ruins of opulent pools, public baths and fountains. Marvel at classical Greek architecture and beautiful artworks. Have lunch at a typical Italian restaurant before moving on to Villa d’Este, best known for its beautiful terraces and the Apartments of the Cardinal with its spectacular view of the gardens and courtyards. Stroll among the many decorative fountains, such as the Oval Fountain and Fountain of the Dragons in the lavish grounds.

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Rome: Day Tour of Villa D'Este & Hadrian's Villa Tivoli

2. Rome: Day Tour of Villa D'Este & Hadrian's Villa Tivoli

Depart Rome and transfer to Tivoli to tour 2 of Italy’s most impressive villas on this full-day tour of the Villa D'Este and Hadrian's Villa, with time to explore both magnificent country estates. Drive to Hadrian's Villa, built in the 2nd century by Emperor Hadrian, and once greater than the center of Imperial Rome. The largest and most luxurious residence ever built in Italy, it features an impressive array of imperial palaces, temples, theaters, thermal baths, and pools. After lunch, explore the grounds of the Villa D'Este and learn about the history and development of the villa, an enchanting site of the late Italian Renaissance. Once the home of Lucrezia Borgia's son, it is renowned for its spectacular gardens and trees, as well as its waterfalls and fountains. Highlights include the caryatids and columns of the Canopus and Serapeum, the pool and artificial grotto, named after an Egyptian city and temple dedicated to the god Serapis, and the Maritime Theatre, where a small Roman house was thought to have provided a retreat from the demands of court life.

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Rome: Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este Half-Day Tour

3. Rome: Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este Half-Day Tour

Explore 2 of the most famous Italian villas on a half-day trip from Rome, following the ancient Roman road of "Via Tiburtina" to Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. Upon arrival, explore the ruins at the foot of the Tiburtini Hills, where natural springs supply the spa town of Bagni di Tivoli. Along the way, look for the vast quarries of travertine marble. Built in the 2nd century, Hadrian’s Villa was once more powerful and impressive than the center of Imperial Rome and boasts exquisite fountains and gardens. Admire the caryatids and columns of Canopus and Serapeum, the artificial grotto named after an Egyptian temple to the god Serapis, and more. Continue to the Renaissance Villa d'Este, where you can wander the Italianate gardens and discover an abundance of grottoes, frescoes and mosaics. Marvel at fountains that create a graceful symphony of carved stone, and provide shade, sunlight and water. A series of terraces evokes the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, while the underground aqueduct provides testimony to the engineering skill of the Romans.

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Tivoli Day Trip: Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este with Lunch

4. Tivoli Day Trip: Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este with Lunch

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este on a full-day trip from Rome. You’ll meet your expert guide in Rome, board a comfortable air-conditioned coach, and proceed to Hadrian’s Villa for a guided walking tour. Hadrian’s Villa was built as a retreat from Rome for the Roman Emperor Hadrian during the 2nd century A.D. Your guide will help you will step back in time as you explore the archaeological ruins of Hadrian’s Villa and the complex of temples, statues, theaters, and thermal baths. From Hadrian’s Villa the coach will take you to a spot near Villa d’Este, where you’ll have a break to enjoy a delicious lunch at a typical local restaurant. After the lunch break, you learn about the intriguing history of the Renaissance when you visit the romantic Villa d’Este, a former Benedictine convent. Walk with your guide through villa’s stunning gardens, marvel at its impressive waterfalls and pools, and see the famous Fountain of Neptune. At the end of the day you’ll take the coach back to Rome to the original departure point.

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Tivoli: Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este Half-Day Tour

5. Tivoli: Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este Half-Day Tour

Start this 5-hour tour of Tivoli from Rome from Piazza Esquilino, with stunning views of the Colosseum from one of the 7 hills of the city, and drive through the Via Tiburtina, passing Castro Pretorio, the Baths of Tivoli, and Ponte Lucano (Lucano Bridge). Your destination is Hadrian's Villa, built in the 2nd century by Emperor Hadrian, once more grand than the center of Imperial Rome. Discover a multitude of exquisite fountains and flower gardens. See the caryatids and columns of the Canopus and Serapeum, the villa's pool and artificial grotto, named after an Egyptian city where a temple was dedicated to the god Serapis. You will also see the island “Maritime Theatre,” on which sits a small Roman house that was probably used as a retreat from busy court life. Continue to Villa d'Este, a beautiful Renaissance villa with exquisite Italianate gardens that's full of grottoes, frescoes, and pebble mosaics. See sites such as the Fontana dell'Ovato, Le Cento Fontane (The Hundred Fountains), and more.

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Rome: Tivoli Villas and UNESCO Jewels Tour

6. Rome: Tivoli Villas and UNESCO Jewels Tour

Discover the glorious villas of Tivoli that date back to the times of the Romans and the Renaissance on a half-day tour from Rome. Following an optional pickup from your hotel in the capital, transfer by comfortable transport to the little town of Tivoli just a few kilometers from the city center. Discover a splendid natural environment between the “Eternal City” and the high hills to the east of Rome. Stop at the remarkable architectural complex of the Villa Adriana, built in the 2nd century AD by the Emperor Hadrian. Marvel at its different architectural styles, with influences from Egypt, Rome, and Athens. Learn how it was designed as an "ideal city," and explore some of the symbols of ancient times. Then, go to the Renaissance-style Villa d’Este and explore its palatial setting, surrounded by a spectacular terraced garden. Enjoy the beauty of its cascades, water tanks, and fountains. Admire a masterpiece of Italian landscape gardening, and its numerous nymphs, grottoes and fountains that were inspired by the Gardens of Babylon.

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Rome: Tivoli, Hadrian's Villa & Villa d'Este Private Tour

7. Rome: Tivoli, Hadrian's Villa & Villa d'Este Private Tour

Swap the bustling city for the peaceful countryside on this tour of Tivoli. Begin at Hadrian’s Villa, the first of two outstanding heritage sites on your private tour. Explore the ancient ruins where Emperor Hadrian once ruled Rome. Next, head to the Tivoli town center where you can explore the historic streets before digging into a sumptuous Italian lunch at a local restaurant, selected especially for its authentic character. Refueled from your lunch, leave behind the modern world as you journey on to Villa d’Este. See the Renaissance frescoes inside before strolling around the famous water garden, which includes Bernini’s impressive Neptune’s Fountain. Learn all about the villa’s wide acclaim, as you revel in the tranquillity amongst the fountains, nymphs, grottoes, and water displays.

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Half Day Tour of Tivoli Garden Villa D'Este & Villa Adriana

8. Half Day Tour of Tivoli Garden Villa D'Este & Villa Adriana

Discover the glorious Tivoli villas dating back to the Roman Empire and the Renaissance in a half-day tour leaving from Rome. Following a pick-up from your hotel in Rome, you will travel  to the town of Tivoli, just a few kilometers from the city center. Discover a beautiful natural environment between the "Eternal City" and the high hills east of Rome. Stop at the great architectural complex of Villa Adriana, built in the second century AD by Emperor Hadrian. Admire its different architectural styles, with influences from Egypt, Rome and Athens. Learn how it was conceived as an "ideal city" and explore some of the symbols of ancient times. Afterwards, go to the Renaissance Villa d'Este and explore this palace setting, surrounded by a spectacular garden terrace. Enjoy the beauty of its waterfalls, water tanks and fountains. Admire a masterpiece of Italian landscape gardening with its many nymphs, grottoes and fountains that were inspired by the Gardens of Babylon.

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From Civitavecchia Port: Private Shore Excursion to Tivoli

9. From Civitavecchia Port: Private Shore Excursion to Tivoli

Discover the 16th-century UNESCO World Heritage site, Villa d’Este, a mind-boggling palace and garden of architectural genius. Visit Hadrian’s Villa, or Villa Adriana, the impressive home of Emperor Hadrian in the second century. Walk in the lavish garden of Villa d’Este, set on a hilltop and one of Italy’s most extraordinary structures. Explore four hectares of magnificent lawns, romantic terraces, and impressive water features, at your leisure. Marvel at an awe-inspiring piece of Renaissance culture. The innovative garden design, with the Hundred Fountains, the Oval Fountain, and the Vialone Terrace. Stroll around the villa, stopping to admire the fresco-bedecked apartments and imagine living here in the 16th century. Visit Villa Adriana, an important archaeological site, set on 120 hectares of the countryside below Tivoli. Learn of the Greek, Roman and Egyptian aspects of this second-century masterpiece. Be impressed by the scale of this masterpiece and see a theatre, a stadium, water features, libraries and thermal baths, among the UNESCO-listed ruins.

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From Rome: Tivoli Small-Group Tour with Lunch

10. From Rome: Tivoli Small-Group Tour with Lunch

Escape the bustle of Rome as you travel to the scenic Italian countryside on a day trip to Tivoli, located in a beautiful hillside town, only a short 40-minute journey away from the Capital. Begin at the magnificent Hadrian’s Villa, the second-century AD residence of Emperor Hadrian. Enjoy a semi-private tour as you explore the ancient ruins. Stroll around the Emperor’s estate and let this special place come to life with its captivating history. Taste some of the local dishes and experience the fine Italian cuisine made famous around the world. Then, take a stroll to the acclaimed Villa d’Este, where you can admire its luxurious design and stunning water gardens that are recognized across Europe. Relax as your day comes to an end and reflect on all of the highlights of this special tour, as you take the bus back to Rome.

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What people are saying about Hadrian's Villa

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,169 reviews

Our guide Joseph was great. The day was nicely split with Hadrian’s palace in the morning and the Villa d’Este and it’s amazing fountains in the afternoon. I felt we had adequate time at both sites as well as a good break for lunch. But Joseph was truly one of the highlights - very informative and a very engaging personality.

This was an amazing trip. Mainly for the fact that there were no tourists around and our group had almost a private viewing. Our guide, Giuseppe, was amazing, very knowledgable and explained everything clearly. I would recommend this trip, it’s definitely one of must see places.

This was such a worth while tour! We were worried about rain but it worked to our advantage, it felt like we were the first people to discover the area. Our guide was very knowledgeable and charming. I would strongly recommend this experience.

Our guide was very engaging and knowledgeable . We appreciated his sense of humor and eagerness to share information about his hometown of Tivoli.

Good amount of time spent at both villas. the guide was knowledgeable and shared many interesting facts about the villas.