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“Incredible site”
Review of Villa Adriana

Villa Adriana
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Tivoli Day Trip from Rome: Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este
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Tivoli Day Trip from Rome with Lunch Including Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este
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Small-Group Tour of Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este from Rome
Ranked #3 of 51 things to do in Tivoli
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: This is an exceptional complex of classical buildings built in the 2nd century AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, which reproduces the best elements of the cultures of Egypt, Greece and Rome in the form of an "ideal city."
Lake George, New York
Level 6 Contributor
376 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 331 helpful votes
“Incredible site”
Reviewed July 10, 2010

I have wanted to see this place for some time especially after reading a bit about Hadrian. I certainly was not disappointed by this place. The entire family really enjoyed our time here even my kids (12 &16). The place is incredible to see and one can imagine how grand it must have been in its day. The sites are still beautiful and of course massive. For us the highlights were the Teatro Maritmo and the Canopus but we really enjoyed the complex as a whole.

There are plenty of maps and information posts around the site but It took us a bit of time to really get our bearings on where we were and to make sure we saw the whole site. There are also areas in the site to get water but on a hot day make sure you bring water bottles anyway.

We arrived by our own car and the roads have plenty of signs directing you to the sites - if you drive it is quite easy and the parking fee is reasonable too.

6 Thank ADKtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Stanmore, Middlesex
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“A must-see site, despite the long journey”
Reviewed March 28, 2010

If you have been wowed by the Forum, the Colosseum and the ruins of Rome in general, then Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli is well worth the effort, especially if you have the time for a day trip out of Rome and are prepared for a fair amount of walking (take comfortable walking shoes). It has an amazing spread of ruins, some of which are breathtaking in their size and scope.

There are two main ways to get to Tivoli, by train or bus (the guided tours from Rome are very pricey and might not give sufficient time at the sites) . We opted for the latter option, which involved taking the Metro (Line B, direction Rebibbia) to the penultimate stop, P.Mammolo, then the blue Roma - Tivoli bus (a 4 Euros day ticket from the Metro station covers the bus journey as well). Journey time around 90 minutes. You need to ask for Villa Adriana; when set down walk down the side road to the end, then take a right and immediate left; follow the signs to the Villa (about a 12-15 minute walk).

There is a little cafe by the entrance and a more upmarket restaurant, plus toilets (closed for refurbishment when we visited, but there are more toilets inside the Villa grounds). You need two hours or more to do the site justice. You can take an audio guide, or simply wander around and drink in the atmosphere of the place as we did (there are plentiful information boards around the site which help orientate you). Be sure to reach the Canopus at the far end of the site, this is the highlight of the Villa.

If you left Rome early morning it is possible to take in the Villa d'Este as well. A local bus (number 44X) picks up from the Villa entrance and sets you down in Tivoli (ask for Villa d'Este). Fare 1 Euro, obtainable from the souvenir stall. In Tivoli, cross the busy square to the far end for the entrance. Be prepared for climbing up many steps, as the gardens of the Villa are set on a fairly steep slope. For the journey back to Rome the blue Tivoli-Roma buses stop on the opposite side of the road to where you arrived. [To avoid the backstreets hike to the Villa Adriana, you could continue to Tivoli on the Roma-Tivoli bus then take the local bus back down the hill].

The train option is probably better if you're just visiting Villa d'Este. Take the Metro (Line B, Rebibbia, as before) and change onto the FS train at the Tiburtina interchange. NB you must buy a separate ticket for the train. Journey time around 30 minutes. Then walk from Tivoli station to the Villa d'Este.

20 Thank Melos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, AL
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
“An architecture wonderland”
Reviewed November 1, 2009

I visited Hadrian's Villa as an architecture student in 2001 & this was my assigned attraction to study & introduce to the rest of my group. I discovered that Hadrian was very interested in architecture & used this location to "play". We were like kids wandering around the wonderland of structures & architectural elements. This was a great place for photography.

Thank ausulli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, KY
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Amazing! Fantastic! Incredible!”
Reviewed August 15, 2009

Friends & I took time out from a trip to Rome to visit Villa Adriana (followed by a trip up the hill to the town of Tivoli and the Villa d'Este)--the day was one of the highlights of our entire 2-week trip around Italy!

This was a last-minute decision for our group of 4 (one in a wheelchair) and we hired a small van with a driver and a guide for the day. The guide was a bonus, but not necessary, especially if you stop at the gift shop before entering and purchase a guidebook. There's a ton of detail you don't want to miss, and the grounds don't have any markers on them to tell you what you're looking at.

One of my favorite places to visit is the original Getty Museum on the cliffs in Malibu. This place has much of the same feel although most of the buildings are ruined to one extent or another. Still, it's amazing to walk through an emperor's palace and imagine what life was like at the time. Some areas have been restored, there is a nice (but small) museum, an incredible grove of ancient olive trees, gorgeous vistas and you could spend an entire day here on a photo safari.

There is a walk up a moderate incline to get to the palace at the top of the hill (unless you are disabled, then ask at the gate and they will allow you to drive to the top and park there).

While it was rather hot in Rome, the countryside here was cooler and we had a completely enjoyable time. Easy, level packed earth pathways for those with mobility issues--there wasn't too much that was inaccesible. If you go during warm weather, take a water bottle with as there are no concessions at the palace itself (although there is a place to purchase food next to the gift shop at the lower parking lot).

Allow yourself at least 2 hours to stroll around--3 would be ideal. It's about 40 miles or so outside of Rome and, since you're going that far anyway, do yourself a favor and make the short drive to the top of the mountain to visit the actual town of Tivoli and the Villa d'Este with its world-famous water gardens (see separate review).

6 Thank EdenSprings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Potenza, Italy
Level 6 Contributor
170 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
“Bigger than many cities”
Reviewed November 19, 2008

We found this location easy to find off the A24 at the Tivoli exit and just followed the brown signs to "villa adriana". Close to Rome but also in the country away from the crowds.

This complex of baths, sports arenas, pools and palaces cover an area larger than many provincial cities in Italy. The views towards Rome are great and you will enjoy the cool shade of the olive and umbrella pine trees. You will need at least 1/2 a day to see all that there is to see. We went without the audio guides as there were signs in English (typical bad translation). Amazing what unlimited power can build!

There are plenty of open areas if you want to bring your own picnic lunch. We were there in Nov so we had most of the place to ourselves though the ticket girl said it is very busy in the summer.

3 Thank BrunoAP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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