Hadrian's Villa - Villa Adriana, Tivoli
Still spectacular and partly restored, however many of the statutes etc have been looted over the centuries.
Take time to view this section of the Villa as it gives you a good impression as to how magnificent the Villa and grounds would have been approx. 1,900 years ago.
We visited the administration Centre to view a large scale model of Hadrian's Villa, Afriana.
Recommend this as essential prior to walking the ruins. You will gain an appreciation of the size of the complex and the architecture.
Certainly, Hadrian's Villa was a magnificent showpiece.
Upon entry through the villa gate the first buildings we sighted were to our left. Much of the structures remained, except the roofing, which is astonishing when one realises there buildings were constructed over 1,800 years ago.
The Piccole Terme (Small Bath, in Englis) is one of my best building of the Villa. This complex is well preserved and it was built between 121 and 126 AD. The building is surrounded by courts adorned in various ways (exedrae, gardens, etc.). Inside there were large windows which allowed a lot of light inside. The rooms were covered with various types of vaults (barrel, spherical and semi-spherical) which you can see during the visit. In the vestibule you can see on the vault fragments of plasters and mosaic. From there you can reach the nymphaesum (you can see the hydraulic system to heat the water), the apoditherium (dressing room, in English), the calidarium and the frigidarium.
Probably these baths were reserved for women, instead the Great Baths was used by men.
In fron of the Cento Camerelle you can see the building called Tre Esedre (Three exedrae, in English). The Hall is so called for its peculiar plan with semi-circular exdrae open open on three sides. It has got a central room with internal colonnades to create of a dipiest building. This building was probably the main access of the villa and the core of the villa's reception area with rich ornaments and the elegance of the structures. The north side of the building have got many open air rooms and they were probably used for summer banquets, instead the south part were used for state activity.
Walking in the nice garden of the Pecile you arrive to Cento Camerelle (One hundred Small Rooms, in English). This complex takes its name from the numerous rooms by which it is composed. It was built to create a terrace to support the Poikile which had a difference in height of about 15 meters.
The structure have a series of non-communicating rectangular rooms of identical dimensions (6.1 X 4.7 meters) on four floors. The rooms were the residential quarters of the imperial guard and the villa's servants.
At the foot of the structure you can see a road of stones that leads to the underground of the villa.
The Pecile (Poikile, in English) is the first building you meet. It is an arcaded court based on the design of the famous stoa poikile in Athens. It was a four-sided portico wit sloping roofs. In the centre there is a large pool with a vast garden.
The pecile was used as summer dining room and also as a place where the emperor could relax and have meeting with his entourage. Nowadays you can still see the north side wall (204 meters long) and the central pool with some funny goslings and ducks swimming inside.
Villa Adriana (Hadrian's Villa, in English) is the biggest Roman villa of the world. It was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a retreat villa from the crowd Rome in the 2ne century.
The villa has got over 30 buildings, covering an area of about 1 square kilometre. Hadrian wanted to reproduce the places he met during its journey along the Roman Empire and it shows echoes of many different architectural orders, mostly Greek and Egyptian.
The complex included palaces, several thermae, theatre, temples, libraries, state rooms and quarters for courtiers, praetorians and slaves.
The ruins you can still seen nowdays give you an idea how wonderful the villa was in the ancient time.
After Hadrian, the villa was used by his various successors. During the decline of the Roman Empire the villa fell into disuse and was partially ruined. In the 16th century Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este had much of the marble and statues in Hadrian's villa removed to decorate his own Villa d'Este.
Since 1999 the villa is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At the entrance of the villa there is a big model showing you how it was when was built.
The Villa Adriana is not only really big [ as big as Pompeii] but hilly so that you can rarely if ever get an overall impression.
Therefore spend some time examining the model in a modern building on your way in.
The function of many buildings and the symbolism of the many artificial ponds has been lost to time. Many of the statues were looted by Ippolito D'este for his villa, making identification even more difficult and some of the works are in the Rome and Vatican museums as well. Here, an image of the great baths behind a large pond (there were 3 baths at the villa complex) and some of the further statuary and buildings. The use of the building in the lead picture is speculation only.
This rectangular pool with a temple constructed at the end is one of the more striking sites at the villa. The Canopus was an ancient canal connecting the city of Canopus with Alexandria. This city had a famous temple of Serapis represented by Hadrian as the building at the end of the waterway. Some feel that the body of water is the Mediterranean with references to ancient Egypt and Greece because of the caryatids lining the periphery of the setting. Like most imperial Romans, almost every building and structure was symbolically linked to the past or to mythology although for many structures the relationship is unclear with the passage of centuries. We'll never be sure about this one. Legend states that a prominent Roman architect riduculed this particular creation - Hadrian had him killed for his trouble
Consists of a group of monumental buildings, roads, sheets of water, baths, libraires, theatres and temples which are considered as the reproduction of similar buildings tghat the Emperor visited during his travels.
Es un complejo de construcciones monumentales, calles, espejos de agua, termas, bibliotecas, teatros y etemplos que se consideran la proyeccion de cuanto ha podido admirar el emperador en sus viajes.
The Emperor Hadrian ordered the construction of the Villa and supervised the work personally (118-138 D.C). The construction was carried out in several successive phases; The first one concerned the restoration of an ancient republican villa.
La hizo construir el emperador Adriano, el cual siguio personalmente el proyecto (118-138 D.C). El edificio fue construido en varios monumentos, de los cuales, el primero correspondio a la restauracion de una existente villa republicana.
As I said before, I am a huge archeological fan and was stoked to come to Villa Adriana. I have to admit that, on the whole, I was somewhat disappointed. The first, and I think the main, reason was the official map. Regretably costing 3.50 Euro, the map was the worst I have ever used, and I consider myself very good at directions. So, don't waste your money and just wander around the park. There are multiple signs along the way that will keep you oriented and will inevitably be less frustraing than trying to orient yourself on the map.
With that said, after I pocketed the map and decided to just wander around, what I did find was the reminents of Hadrian's villa, built in the 2nd century BC. With two ponds and mulitple temples and theaters, it definitely was not a waste of time. The highlight for me was the pool towards the rear of the park, called the Canopus. It is flanked by a couple of white statues and ends in a grotto. In a few other places, there are really well-preserved tile floors.
This website is one of the best websites for an attraction I have found yet!
Villa Adrianna is located in the valley underneath Tivoli and is only a short bus ride away from the centre and is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Listed area in Tivoli. It was Hadrian's preferred residence when he was in Rome.
It is a large Roman villa built by the emperor Hadrian in the early second century which is only about 28km East of Rome. The villa was a massive complex of over 30 buildings, covering an area of at least 100 hectares. There is some amazing ruins of baths, theatres, palaces... need I go on?? It is completely amazing and there are some beautiful photo opportunities of the reflective pool.
History of the Villa after Hadrian is also interesting. When Constantine I gained power he took works of art and other valuables maybe to adorn the palaces of Constantine's new capital, Constantinopolis (later Istanbul in Turkey). Many of the buildings collapsed and much of the complex was covered with debris and earth and in the 17th and 18th centuries all of the villas remaining treasures were taken away. Quite a bit of the art in the villa ended up under papal control and can now be viewed in the Vatican museum.
9am-until an hour before sunset
Will set you back about 6 Euro