Villas and Gardens

Villa Borghese

This is the most famous villa both for its dimension and tha various ways of access to the city. Cardinal Scipione Borghese wanted it to be built at the beginning ohìf the 17th century between the Flaminio area and the Parioli area where the Lucullo gardens stood. The main building, inspired by 16th century style, was covered on the outside by old sculptures whereas the sober interior hosted great works of art. At the beginning of the 19th century Prince Camillo Borghese set up the art collection of the family in the casino which today is where the gallery and the Borghese museum stand.

It was extended towards the Muro Torto and thus the villa was refurbished to also include an English garden landscape. There are many beautiful items worthwhile noticing: the Italians gardens near the Casino Borghese, the Casino alla Meridiana and around tha aviary; avenues and paths embellished by statues and fountains; the Garden of the Lake, thus called because it stretches around an artificial lake; there is a small temple dedicated to Aesculapius on a islet in the middle of the lake and a 17th century copy of the arch of Septimius Severus.

Villa Medici

The villa, which hosts the French Academy at Trinità dei Monti, was started in the second half of the 16th century, it was bought in 1576 by Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici. The gardens which stretch along the avenues bordered by high hedges are embellished by statues sarcophagi and fountains.
There were splendid waterworks during feasts when it was the Embassy of Florence in the 18th century. The villa became property of the ruling house of Florence when the Medici family became extinct. It was thropugh them that Napoleon Bonaparte made it the headquarter of the French Academy. The building was open to the public in 1928 and since then has hosted art exhibitions.

Villa Doria Pamphili

The villa became the largest public park in the city in 1971. It has become a favourite place for jogging and dog owners.
The oldest part at 183 of the Aurelia Antica is Villa Vecchia, which already existed when Panfilo Pamphili bought in 1630. The new villa was built between 1644and 1652 by Algardi and Grimaldi when Innocent X Pamphili was Pope.  The richly frescoed halls of the villa having access from 111 Via Aurelia were embellished by a collection of statues, which today are in the Capitolini Museums. Changes, extension and new constructions to the villa continued in the 19th century. The villa joined to Villa Corsini and the entrance of Via Porta San Pancrazio became the main entrance following the war events of the Roman Republic of 1849.

Villa d'Este

   
Villa d'Este, masterpiece of the Italian Garden, is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. With its impressive concentration of fountains, nymphs, grottoes, plays of water, and music, it constitutes a much-copied model for European gardens in the mannerist and baroque styles.
The garden is generally considered within the larger - and altogether extraordinary - context of Tivoli itself: its landscape, art and history which includes the important ruins of ancient villas such as the Villa Adriana, as well as a zone rich in caves and waterfalls displaying the unending battle between water and stone. The imposing constructions and the series of terraces above terraces bring to mind the hanging gardens of Babylon, one of the wonders of the ancient world. The addition of water including an aqueduct tunneling beneath the city evokes the engineering skill of the Romans themselves.

Villa Adriana
   
Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli (Rome) was built by Emperor Hadrian, starting from 117 A.D., as an imperial palace far away from the city of Rome. It is the most extensive ancient roman villa, covering an area of at least 80 hectares, more or less as Pompeii. In 1999 Villa Hadriana was appointed one of the Human Heritage Monuments by Unesco; as many other archaeological sites it is very famous, but still very little known in its essence, notwithstanding more than 500 years of excavations. A more scientific and modern approach to its study is a recent novelty. Villa Hadriana lived until late antiquity, was sacked by the Barbarians of Totila, and during the Middle Ages became a quarry of building materials for the city of Tivoli and its bishop; her identity was lost, being with new name Tivoli Vecchio (Old Tivoli). At the end of the XV century, Biondo Flavio identified again the site as the Villa of the Emperor Hadrian described by the Historia Augusta; at the same time, Pope Alexander VI Borgia promoted the first excavations in the Odeon theater, discovering several statues of seated Musae, now in the Prado Museum of Madrid, Spain. Later on, Pope Pius II Piccolomini visited the Villa and described it in his Commentarii, making the site very famous from then on.