Tivoli, situated 30 kilometres from Rome, is considered one of the most beautiful places to visit in the vicinity of Rome. That’s why I decided to check it myself. I have chosen to start my trip from a bus terminal of Ponte Mammolo, which turned out to be quite ugly (welcome to Italy!). It took me around 15 min to buy a ticket and find the right platform. Don’t expect anybody to speak English, unless it’s a fellow tourist, who is likely to know as much as you do: that’s why I recommend you use a navigation app and mark places you want to visit. Upon arrival, I made a mistake of following locals’ guidelines on how to reach Tivoli itself, and ended up walking 20 extra min as a result. J However, I realized it was worth the hassle as soon as I entered Tivoli. It is one of the rare places that combines greatness of past and liveliness of present.
It will appeal to both lovers of nature and those fond of Arts and History. Ancient villas, extensive ruins, beautiful fountains and sculptures, magnificent gardens are waiting for you here.
The atmosphere of the place is very romantic; I believe Tivoli is a great pick to tell someone about your feelings or enjoy long walks with someone you love. That was such a pleasure to see couples of seniors, holding their hands and exploring villas. What a beautiful way to celebrate your life and love!
Impressed by Villa d’Este I continued exploring beauty of Tivoli. On my way to the bus stop I saw a huge sign on the road – Villa Gregoriana. Although I had no plan to visit it initially, I decided to alter my route, wondering what kind of surprise is waiting for me. Luckily, villa Gregoriana appeared to be at a short walking distance from Villa D’Este.
Since I don’t like to read about the places I visit in advance, the first question that came to my mind when I reached the place was: where is the villa, exactly? I was expecting to see something like Villa D’Este, but it’s difficult to imagine two places that different. If asked which one I like more, I most likely wouldn’t be able to give an intelligible response: it’s too hard to compare.
The moment I saw the surrounding park I realised it is truly unique. I was impresses by its’ diversity: waterfalls, rich greenery, narrow gorges, cliffs, ravines, cryptic grottos, all making you feel far from the noise of the city.
As a person who did Arts for years, I know that nature and wonderful landscapes are the great source of inspiration, so I was not surprised to find out that Villa Gregoriana has been a destination for artist and poets for ages. Nowadays, it is also valued for historical and archaeological significance. However, you don’t need to be an artist or poet to appreciate the beauty, right?
I had little time (1,5 hours before closing) to explore the villa, I have chosen the main road of the possible two. If you have enough time and energy, I would suggest you take both paths. I found it useful that every point on the way has notice boards, which recite legends and history of Villa. If you feel lazy or tired, you could take a rest on the plentiful benches.
Given that I visited Villa on the first day of spring, the conditions weren’t best for a picnic on the grass, but if the weather is good – come with your friends, take some snacks and enjoy your meal right there as it is allowed by the rules J . That should be particularly nice during hot summer days as trees give enough shade and water brings freshness and coolness. Isn’t it cool to have a picnic near the waterfall?
NOTE. My experience shows that sandals are not the best choice, since you need to walk quite a lot. So, coming there bring the good mood, comfortable shoes or sneakers, and be ready to explore.
You can find additional information about Villa Gregoriana here: http://www.visitfai.it/parcovillagregoriana/
How to get there?
By car: Autostrada A24, exit: Tivoli;
By train: from Roma Termini, Roma-Pescara Line, Stazione Tivoli;
By bus: COTRAL bus Roma-Tivoli (station in Rome: metro stop Ponte Mammolo; bus station in Tivoli: Largo Nazioni Unite). The trip takes 45-60 min. Villa d’Este is 5 min walk away from the bus stop. Villa Gregoriana can be reached in 20 min by foot from the bus stop. There is a sign on the road, that shows directions.