Villa d'Este

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Villa d'Este: Our most recommended tours and activities

Tivoli: Villa D'Este Entry Ticket with Digital Postcard

1. Tivoli: Villa D'Este Entry Ticket with Digital Postcard

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed gardens of Villa d'Este, one of the finest examples of 16th-century Italian garden design, at your own pace with this entry ticket and soak up the tranquility of the gardens. As you stroll through the gardens, admire fountains, grottoes, and water lilies. Other highlights include an organ that produces sound effects through the water. You can also visit the complex's palace which was built for Ippolito II d'Este and painted by famous artists. The whole complex was designed by architect Pirro Ligorio and took more than 20 years to complete. Immortalize your visit and make your friends or family green with envy by sending them a Pemcard, a digital photo that you can send as a real postcard to anywhere in the world.

From Rome: Hadrian's Villa & Villa d'Este Tour with Lunch

2. From Rome: Hadrian's Villa & Villa d'Este Tour with Lunch

Leave the hustle and bustle of Rome behind on an excursion by bus to see the opulent villas of Hadrian and d'Este. Best of all, choose between a private, a small, and a large group tour to fit your needs. Once in Tivoli, tuck into a delicious lunch at a traditional trattoria. Sit back and relax on your hour-long journey to your first stop: Hadrian's Villa. Built in 120 CE and covering 500 hectares, the former Roman emperor's villa features the Imperial Palaces, the Pecile, the Grand Thermal Baths, and more — all of which you'll visit. Then, stop for a lunch break in Tivoli's historical center, relaxing and enjoying the local town before making your way to your last stop. After your delicious lunch, make your way to Villa d'Este, the villa of Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este, where construction began in 1650. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features 400 ornate water features and a breathtaking Renaissance Garden. Finally, head back to Rome filled with new knowledge and wonderful memories.

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

3. 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.

Rome: Tivoli Villas and UNESCO Jewels Tour

4. 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.

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

5. 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.

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

6. 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.

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

7. 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.

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

8. 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.

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

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

Explore Italy's hidden gems with a live tour guide on this tour. Visit the ancient Emperor Hadrian's villa and walk around the beautiful Villa D'Este. Start your trip with a pickup at your hotel. First, visit Emperor Hadrian's villa which was built in the 2nd-century. You will have in front of your eyes Greek, Roman, and Egyptian elements fused together in a breath-taking view. After this, visit the Villa D’Este for an insight into another stunning villa. See the most complete monument of the Italian Renaissance and explore the beautiful Italian gardens.  Return back to your hotel with memories that will last a lifetime.

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

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Villa d'Este

What are other attractions than Villa d'Este that are worth visiting in Tivoli?

The other must-see attractions in Tivoli are:

How can I visit Villa d'Este?

Possible ways to visit the Villa d'Este:

To enter Villa d'Este, you need to have a ticket or be part of a guided tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Villa d'Este

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What people are saying about Villa d'Este

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,258 reviews

We had a delightful time! The tour was well organized. Giuseppe was an outstanding guide. Both villas were beautiful sites. We did not choose to have lunch with the tour group but instead enjoyed wandering around Tivoli and found a lovely side street trattoria. Giuseppe gave good advice for shopping in town. I would definitely recommend this tour and this guide.

Great guide, and we loved getting outside of Rome and away from the crowds. We could have wandered around Tivoli for longer, and I'm so glad we got to see the gardens.

It is an excellent day trip, highly recommended, Giuseppe was a fantastic tour guide. His knowledge and love of the region of Tivoli made the tour even more enjoyable

Pleasant minibus ride to Tivoli, beautiful gardens, not very busy (low season).

Wonderful tour. Giuseppe was awesome. Great sites to visit. Totally recommend.