We will lead you to "Paradise". This is what Romans called the gardens, expression of the cult of beauty that the emperors and later the popes mastered perfectly well. Examples of their aesthetic sense can be admired in both Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este. And not only: the same type of love for beauty can be traced in the frescoes and mosaics of the residences in Ancient Ostia. A drive through the so-called Roman Castles will then amaze you with their overflowing natural beauties: volcanic lakes surrounded by picturesque villages including Castel Gandolfo which is the Pope's summer residence…
Villa d'Este
Villa Adriana
Ostia antica
Castelli romani
Tivoli, Villa d'Este

Here we come to Villa D’Este, a former unadorned Benedectine monastery that in the 16th century was transformed into a refined residence and enriched with sophisticated frescoes thanks to Cardinal Ippolito d’Este. The elegant and intellectual decorative leitmotiv surprised his contemporaries but what is most amazing to us is the ‘Italian garden’ with its 51 fountains, stepped slanted gardens and graded terraces.  Water is the absolute protagonist creating spectacular shapes as fans, umbrellas, flowers… astonishingly waterworks that makes the visit quite rewarding…
Tivoli, Villa Adriana

The Valley just below Tivoli is well-known for its healthy climate and was chosen by Emperor Hadrian to escape life in Rome, an already noisy and chaotic metropolis. Very few people know about Hadrian's capabilities in the field of architecture and engineering and that he personally planned his residence, Villa Adriana, extended over 300 hectares. The imposing complex was conceived to host a huge number of people, the imperial court. The Thermal Baths were a waterworks masterpiece. The Palazzo Imperiale, the large four-sided porticoes and the Tricliniums for banquets, just to mention some of the other constructions, are the result of his creative genius…

Ostia Antica

The large archaeological site of Ostia Antica, an ancient sea-port by the mouth of the river Tevere, gives us the opportunity to picture a cosmopolitan town of two thousand years ago. Its inhabitants belonged to different cultures and professed different religions. Clues of their daily life are still under our eyes as we leisurely walk through this open-air museum to admire the mosaics of the Thermal Baths. We cross the Theater, we explore the Insulae built for the middle-class, and the wealthy Domus. We penetrate the narrow alleys to reach the Fullonica (the laundry) and you will be taken aback when we finally enter into the forerunner of today's restaurant: the Thermopolium

Castelli Romani

Driving through the nature reserve of the Castelli Romani, about 20 kms southeast of Rome, we should bear in mind that we are in the area of Alba Longa, the town which according to the legend gave rise to Rome and that this very spot was chosen by pope Urban VIII to be his summer residence. At present not only are the Castelli a residential area for the inhabitants of Rome, but they are also an attractive tourist goal thanks to the climate and the beauties of the landscape. We start from Castel Gandolfo, overlooking Albano Lake and still nowadays the summer residence of the Pope. We continue with Grottaferrata by visiting the Abbey of San Nilo and with Frascati, famous for the elegant residences of the roman aristocracy and for the good white wine. Our tour may include lunch in a typical restaurant and then continue on to Nemi, a medieval little town named after the tiny, picturesque lake that it overlooks.
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