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Villa d'Este in Tivoli near Rome is an Italian Renaissance icon

Thursday, 05 May 2022 09:47

Villa d'Este in Tivoli near Rome is an extraordinary Renaissance UNESCO World Heritage site near Rome. It is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful gardens, and is famous the world over for its splendid fountains. Commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este, it is the work of the great architect Pirro Logorio who started the project in 1550. The water that gushes from the numerous fountains is taken directly from Rome’s Aniene river through an underground channel which is 600 metres long.

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The Palazzo d’Este has a Grand Loggia

The Villa d’Este complex extends for four hectares and includes a striking residential building, a garden adorned with tree-lined avenues and hedges, and numerous fountains.  The former residence, known as the Palazzo d’Este has an elegant façade with a Grand Loggia and the Fountain of Europe. Past the entrance you come to a staircase leading to a large reception hall, and from here you can go directly to admire the frescoes in the Noble Apartment. The three floors of the building have many other extraordinary rooms, such as the Old or Upper Apartment, the Hall of Salomon's Stories and the Lower Apartment, with the Salone della Fontanina and the Ercole Sassano fresco.

Some of the fountains reproduce musical harmonies 

Most of the external fountains are striking water theatres and include the Rometta, with the sculpture of Rome on the throne, and the imposing Fontana dell'Ovato, more commonly known as the Tivoli Fountain. Of particular interest is the Bicchierone Fountain, the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and the so-called musical fountains like  the Fountain of the Birds and the Fountain of the Organ, with devices operated by water that reproduce musical harmonies. The Fountain of Proserpina is also noteworthy and consists of a central nymphaeum protected by two twisted columns. More recent, but equally as beautiful, is the Fountain of Neptune, one of the most  popular and most photographed by tourists and Romans in the Villa d’Este complex.

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