If you are a fan of history and artistry, Villa Adriana, built for an emperor Hadrian in Tivoli, should be the best choice for you.
Once a huge monumental complex of buildings, now the villa is in ruins, but still remains grand and stately. Being UNESCO heritage site, it attracts visitors from all over the world. Archaeological site is large and gives a perspective of what life might have been those days.
Be prepared to walk a lot. Parks, ancient temples, squares, baths, pools, fishponds, libraries, theatres are just the parts of the things you will see here. The area is big, it could be useful to have guidebooks, that will provide more information about the routes and places to see. I like to keep these kind of things as a reminder about my trips and things I experienced in different places.
Coming back to reality, I suggest you to start your trip in the morning, so as to have more time to explore the place before it becomes too hot. Bring comfortable clothes, take a bottle of water and some snacks, because there aren’t plenty of shops around and it takes considerable time to explore the complex. As a backup, you can find a water tap near the entrance.
Moreover, don’t be shy and find a shady place on the grass to arrange a small picnic and enjoy tranquil countryside atmosphere.
Overall, Tivoli is one of the most impressing and interesting places around Rome, at least it was for me.
As it was mentioned before coming to any villa in Tivoli could be tricky. So it is totally up to you to decide whether to come on your own or book a tour. Anyway, if I did it without knowing any word in Italian, having no maps or directions, I am sure you would be able to do it too!
Moreover, sometimes doing things on your own will not only help you save some of your money, which you could later spent on trips to other places, but also to see things from other perspectives and feel the spirit and soul of a country.
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 ( first take metro to Ponte Mammolo, then search for the right bus terminal to Tivoli).