Rome is wonderful, but so are some nearby places, too.
Fancy a tour away from the crowd, immersed in the ruins of ancient cities and villas?
Then Villa D'Este and Villa Adriana in Tivoli, or the ancient roman city of Ostia Antica are the perfect places for you!
Villa D'Este in Tivoli
Villa D'Este was built in 1550 by the cardinal Ippolito 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.
Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, after the disappointment of a failed bid for the papacy, brought back to life here the splendor of the courts of Ferrara, Rome and Fontainebleau and revived the magnificence of Villa Adriana.
Villa Adriana in Tivoli
The villa was constructed 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.
It is an exceptional complex combining the best elements of the architectural heritage of Egypt, Greece and Rome in the form of an 'ideal city'. During the later years of his reign, he actually governed the empire from the villa. A large court therefore lived there permanently. The postal service kept it in contact with Rome 18 miles (29 km) away.
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.
Ostia Antica is a large archeological site, close to the modern suburb of Ostia (Rome), that was the location of the harbour city of ancient Rome, which is approximately 30 kilometres (19 miles) to the northeast.
"Ostia" in Latin means "mouth". At the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was Rome's seaport, but due to silting the site now lies 3 kilometres (2 miles) from the sea. The site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes and impressive mosaics.
The origins of Ostia date back to 396 BC and came magically preserved to the present days. The museum of the excavation offers a great number of statues and fragments, tabernae, the theater, the capitol...
You can stroll through ancient taverns, baths, apartments, grocery stores and theaters that remained under truly amazing conditions and actually re-live the life of the ancient Romans.