Located along the banks of the River Aniene, the point where there is a picturesque waterfall, Tivoli is situated on the slopes of Monti Tiburtini. The city is a real architectural jewel that has roots far away. Is even mentioned in the Aeneid by Virgil, which gives the title of Tibur Superbum (Aeneid, Lib. VII), which still stands in the city coat of arms.
Today Tivoli is one of the most visited tourist destinations of Lazio, thanks to the famous villas and large architectural complexes. Worth seeing is the old historic city, features a medieval structure, with its narrow streets and shops, you can walk in the village surrounded by monuments of great historical interest or take a nature trail within the Villa Gregoriana's Park and admire the magnificent waterfall.
HISTORY OF TIVOLI
The first settlements in Tivoli date back many centuries ago, as the ruins of the sanctuary of Hercules, dating to the second century. In the first century BC Tivoli became the seat of the great villas of the roman personalities, including Horace, Cassio and Emperor Hadrian.
During the Middle Ages Tivoli at first was a long dispute between the Roman and the feudal barons of Subiaco, then between the Colonna and Orsini families has always been in conflict over the territories of the Roman Castles. Over the years the city was an independent municipality under the supervision of Henry IV before and after Frederick Barbarossa, who will give the city the coat of arms with the imperial eagle.
At this period of stability followed by a moment of struggle and blood, followed by a full-scale war between families, aprticolare the Orsini and Colonna. At the end of 1400 the population of Tivoli is reduced to only 2000 souls but in the sixteenth century Tivoli's population is held in high regard by the Roman Curia, which shall provide directly to the Governors to the city in the person of eminent cardinals.. We have high-sounding names among those who administer Tivoli: Column, Gonzaga, D'Este, Carafa, Farnese, Barberini, Chigi and in the seventeenth Tivoli through a time of great splendor and prosperity.
At the end of the eighteenth century, the population was of 6,000 souls, but Tivoli is shaken by a catastrophic event November 16, 1826, as the Aniene is the protagonist of a disastrous flood that destroys a large number of homes. In 1863, the last pope-king, Pius IX, gives Tivoli Albule Waters, now known as the Baths of Rome, the sources of sulfur, which already at the turn of the era were known for their healing properties.
During the Second World War Tivoli was severely bombed by Anglo-American, which aimed to disrupt the railway junctions and roads connecting Rome with the Adriatic.
THINGS TO SEE IN TIVOLI
Church of Santa Maria Maggiore: Was built by Pope Simplicius which is expected to have donated an image of the Virgin to the church. On the entrance of the church you can see a huge portal in Gothic style built by the sculptor Angelo da Tivoli. To the left of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore is the bell tower, but inside they are preserved some important works like the altar Galvani architect and an image of the Madonna delle Grazie Jacopo Torriti.
Church of San Silvestro: Constructed around the twelfth century, the church has a distinctly Romanesque three-nave with two rows of 12 columns of marble. Inside the church of San Silvestro you can admire the beautiful frescoes in the second half of the twelfth century that decorate the triumphal arch and the apse, depicting the legend of Emperor Constantine and St. Sylvester.
Roman Amphitheatre: The large building was discovered around 1950 and was immediately restored. In ancient times the games were made in the amphitheater of the gladiators with wild beasts and hunting (venatio). The structure extends in a 'central arena of 60 x 40 meters, and they are still visible substructures of the steps that rose to a height of 12 meters alleged.
Villa Adriana: this is the ancient residence of Emperor Hadrian and one of the most famous and visitated attraction in Rome. A great example of roman architecture that we suggest you not to miss!
Villa d’Este: Was built around 1550 by Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, son of Lucrezia Borgia and Alfonso d'Este, designed by Pirro Ligorio. A key feature of the villa are beautiful fountains outside, fed by the waters of the River Aniene, including the fountain Bicchierone, Ovate and Dragons. The courtyard was the cloister of the monastery of the Benedictines, incorporated in the monumental building of the villa. The Italian garden enhances the architecture and art from the Renaissance gardens.
Cathedral of St Lawrence: It was built in the fifth century, where once was the Roman Forum. It was completely rebuilt in 1635 by Cardinal Giulio Roma in baroque style. The structure of the church has a nave with side chapels. Among the most important works we announce the thirteenth group of the Deposition, the wooden masterpiece, significant evidence of medieval sculpture. Also you can see the Triptych of the Saviour, a panel painting of the twelfth century. Outiside stands the original Romanesque bell-tower.
HOW TO GET TO TIVOLI
Take the subway ( line B) and stop at "Ponte Mammolo". From there take the bus CO.TRA.L. Rome-Tivoli-Via Tiburtina until Villa Adriana.
Take the highway A24 and at Tivoli, after prosegue to Villa Adriana.
From Termini Train Station take the train for Tivoli. From there take the bus CO.TRA.L. Rome-Tivoli- Via Tiburtina until Villa Adriana.