The Villa Tivoli is an ancient Italian town in Lazio, about 30 km east-north-east of Rome.
Tivoli is an ancient Italian town in Lazio, about 30 km east-north-east of Rome. The villa Tivoli was constructed at Tibur (modern-day Tivoli) as a retreat from Rome for Roman Emperor Hadrian during the second and third decades of the 2nd century AD. Hadrian was said to dislike the palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome, leading to the construction of the retreat. During the later years of his reign, he actually governed the empire from the villa Tivoli. A large court therefore lived there permanently. The postal service kept it in contact with Rome 18 miles away.
After Hadrian, the villa Tivoli 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 located nearby.
Villa Tivoli was a complex of over 30 buildings, covering an area of at least 1 square kilometre (c. 250 acres) of which much is still unexcavated. Villa Tivoli was the greatest Roman example of an Alexandrian garden, recreating a sacred landscape. Villa Tivoli included palaces, several thermae, theatre, temples, libraries, state rooms and quarters for courtiers, praetorians and slaves. Villa Tivoli shows echoes of many different architectural orders, mostly Greek and Egyptian. Hadrian, a very well travelled emperor, borrowed these designs, such as the caryatids by the Canopus, along with the statues beside them depicting the Egyptian dwarf and fertility god, Bes. A Greek so called "Maritime Theatre" exhibits classical ionic style, whereas the domes of the main buildings as well as the corinthian arches of the Canopus and Serapeum show clear Roman architecture. Hadrian's biography states that areas in the villa were named after places Hadrian saw during his travels. Only a few places mentioned in the biography can be accurately correlated with the present-day ruins.
On the outskirts of Tivoli stands the magnificent Villa Adriana, the sumptuous residence of Emperor Hadrian, which gives the visitor an exceptional idea of Roman architecture and statuary and is one of the finest examples of an imperial residence. This emperor's gifts as an architect can be seen in the series of palaces, baths, theatres etc. Which he had built there between 118 and 134, and which were meant to remind him, here in Italy, of the places he most loved in Greece and the Near East.