Private Group Guided Tour of Tivoli Villas & Gardens by Private Vehicle from Hotel
- Villa d'Este: Discover the serene splendor of the Renaissance gardens, grottos, nymphs, and breathtaking array of fountains at this World Heritage Site; its series of stepped hillside terraces became a model for European gardens.
- Villa Adriana: Explore the grounds of this sprawling villa complex built in the early 2nd century as a place of leisure and introspection by Hadrian, one of Rome's greatest emperors. Note the colored marble columns and floors, decorated ceilings, and domes that recall Rome's Pantheon – also built by Hadrian.
- Historic Tivoli: Use your free time to walk around town and find sights like the Rocca Pia fortress, the ruins of the amphitheater, the thermal baths, and the Baroque architecture and 13th-century wood carving of San Lorenzo Cathedral.
- Private group: Share your experience with only people you know, whether it's just the two of you, the whole family, or any group of up to 20.
About This Rome Tour
Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este had a thing for Hercules. In fact, the entire Este family was smitten by Greek mythology, including the goddesses known as the Three Graces, a variety of nymphs, and Hyppolitus, son of the mythical father of Greece, after whom the cardinal was named.
Born in 1509 to Duke Alfonso I, and Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, the cardinal was appointed governor of Tivoli in 1550 and decided that the existing official residence wasn't fit for a man of his stature. So he replaced it with the Villa d'Este, and made sure that it was.
In keeping with his family's Greek inclinations, he decided to landscape his villa with a new Garden of the Hesperides, a blissful mythic garden where Hercules stole golden apples from a tree guarded by a dragon.
By the time it was all done, the gardens included statues, waterfalls, fishing ponds, and an assortment of breathtaking fountains, like the one with a statue of Pegasus crowning the top. Others include the Fountain of the Owl, which used water to activate an organ that could imitate bird sounds; the Fountain of the Dragon, commemorating Hercules' apple theft, and the Hundred Fountains, which carried water to the Rometta, a model of Rome built to provide diners a simulated city view.
Ippolito always dreamed of becoming pope, but failed six in six elections – including one in which he was accused of attempting to bribe cardinals for their votes. Ironically, it wasn't his zeal that kept him from realizing his dream. It was Hercules and the other pagan-themed decorations of Villa d'Este, which did not go over well with church officials.
Out of sight
Villa Adriana was a large complex that required a multitude of servants to keep it humming. But Hadrian didn't want them disturbing the relaxation of his guests. So a network of tunnels was built under the villa, allowing servants and guards to go about their business unobserved. If you look closely at the terraces, you'll notice they're artificially supported by structures that held the servant quarters.
Pick-up is included from select hotels. Please specify your hotel name and location during check-out. Please meet in the lobby at least 15 minutes before your designated tour time with a printed copy of your voucher.
As in many cities, keep your wallet or purse secured and leave the bling behind. Flat shoes make walking on cobblestones much easier.
Lunch is not included. Please plan to bring local currency to buy your meal and snacks.
Wheelchair users can join the tour as long as they are able to manage vehicle steps and are accompanied by an able bodied companion. Involves approximately 1.5 miles of walking over uneven, cobblestone surfaces with inclines and long periods of standing.
Private Tour, Family Friendly, Cultural, Scenic, Shopping
Vehicles? We have all kinds for all sizes of groups, from cars to buses. Vehicles vary based on the number of travelers.
English Speaking Licensed Guide in Tivoli for 4hrs
Villa Adriana Entrance Fee with Reservation
Villa d'Este Entrance Fee with Reservation
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages
Special Medical Restriction
If your mobility is limited, it may be too challenging for you to maintain the pace needed to see all the sights fully. If you use a folding wheelchair, we can accommodate you with at least 7 days notice, providing you have someone along to assist you.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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