Tivoli, superb city


The Ancient Tivoli, the one which Virgil in the Aeneid mentioned as Tibur Superbum, boasts an origin and a long millennia of history much more archaic than Rome, roughly  attributable to the year 1215 B.C., when it was considered an important point of convergence between different peoples. With its geographical position, it aroused the predilection of distinguished and learned men from the days of the Roman Republic. Here were built houses for leisure time, sanctuaries and pagan temples. During the imperial era, one of the greatest Roman emperors, Publio Elio Adriano, chose it as his residence outside the city.

An emperor, Adriano, which was considered the greatest architect of all time, the one who built the Pantheon and in Tivoli experienced and realized a wonderful architectural dream: Villa Adriana. Popes and Cardinals enriched it with their sumptuous residences, whose testimony of excellence is the magnificent Villa D'Este. Saints left deep traces of their passage here. Even St. Peter seems to have passed through here and have resided there before going to Rome. The lords in the Middle Ages, provided it with a large number of tower houses to show their power and mighty walls of defense. Writers, painters and intellectuals honored it by visiting it, describing it with images and writings, at the time of the Grand Tour. In short, a superb city that surprises unexpectedly with its thousand wonders.


1. WALK THE STREETS OF DOWNTOWN, where you can admire the Amphitheater Bleso and Rocca Pia, a fortress built in the 15th century. Also interesting is via Campitelli, for the several row houses of the late Middle Ages. Amongst these, stands the Gothic House.

2. WALK THROUGH THE AVENUES AND FOUNTAINS OF VILLA D’ESTE, a masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance known, as well as for the architectural part, for its lush gardens which count more than 250 waterfalls, 100 tanks and 50 fountains, which contribute to make the entire complex a dream environment amongst the most beautiful in Italy.

3. VISIT THE CATHEDRAL OF SAN LORENZO, Baroque style with a single nave, it was built in the Middle Ages and it maintains in one of the side chapels the 13th century group of the Deposition, a wooden masterpiece of rare beauty.

4. VISIT VILLA ADRIANA, built by the will of Emperor Hadrian; it appears today as an extraordinary, immense park, extending over 80 hectares, dotted with several Roman ruins, spas and houses of the 18th century, in an atmosphere that still retains much of the old charm.

5. APPRECIATE THE SPLENDID LANDSCAPE THAT OPENS FROM THE ROCKY SPUR ON WHICH ARISE THE SMALL TEMPLES OF THE ACROPOLIS, that are the Temple of Tiburno, with a rectangular plan, and the Temple of Vesta (also called of Sibilla), with a round plan, both dating back from the 2nd century B.C.

6. ADMIRE THE WATERFALLS, THE VIEWS AND THE ANCIENT REMAINS OF PARK VILLA GREGORIANA, by the will of Pope Gregory XVI in mid-nineteenth century. A landscape with unique and unspoiled charm which makes the park one of the most romantic walks in the world.

7. HAVE LUNCH IN ONE OF TIVOLI’S MOST ANCIENT RESTAURANTS, nestled in the extraordinary setting of the Tiburtina Acropolis. Decorated in classic style, Ristorante Sibilla (via della Sibilla, 50) offers a mix of carefully cooked traditional specialties and its pleasant re-interpretations.

8. TASTE THE DISHES OF ITALIAN TRADITION AMONGST ROMAN FRESCOES AT TAVERNA QUINTILIA (via Nenni, 4), that serves traditional Italian cuisine made of intriguing dishes with a genuine flavor, but at the same time also elegant. Fish is the specialty of the house, cooked with simple recipes born from the passion for Neapolitan cuisine.

9. TASTE THE TIRAMISU OF THE CONFECTIONERY ILOVIT (vicolo dei Palatini, 6), a nice little pastry shop located in the center of Tivoli’s historic center, specialized in handcrafted tiramisu, prepared with the highest quality ingredients.

10. TRY THE UNIQUE AND INIMITABLE PUDDINGS OF BRACHETTI, (via Ponte Gregoriano, 29), an historical bar of Tivoli that follows the ancient family tradition for the production of its handmade ice-cream rigorously in cup. Divine are the chocolate puddings with hand-whipped cream on top.