1. 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.