Emperor Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli

Archaeology Daytrip Rome

A visit to the the Villa of Hadrian in Tivoli is a great daytrip from Rome

Are you looking for the perfect day trip in Rome? Do you want to travel back in time and discover a breathtaking Roman Villa? If your answer is yes, you should visit Hadrian's villa of Tivoli!


Hadrian's villa of Tivoli construction started in AD 117 in Tibur, modern-day Tivoli, using as the main site a preexisting house inherited by Roman Emperor Hadrian's wife, Vibia Sabina. Hadrian, who was emperor from AD 117 to AD 138, disliked the chaotic life in the Palatine Hill in Rome and he wanted to govern the empire from a fantastic villa nearby Rome, as he did making the villa his official residence in AD 128.
This idea to watch Rome and control the massive empire from afar wasn't new to Roman emperors. Indeed previous emperors and wealthy Romans, such as Trajan, had also constructed villas as retreats from the city chaos. The term "villa" means single house in Italian, however, this is hugely reductive for Hadrian's villa of Tivoli which was projected to be a real idyllic city.
Hadrian loved architecture, and he designed his villa in Tivoli for more than 20 years making it the masterpiece that it still is nowadays. The villa became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

What to see

If we admire the nearly 10 hectares of magnificent ruins, we have to imagine that one time there were temples, thermal pools, gyms, theatres, and so many other attractions.
Hadrian's villa of Tivoli was indeed a scale reproduction of the many beautiful places Hadrian visited around the world during his empire. Moreover, there were houses for courtiers, slaves, athletes, praetorian guards who never left Hadrian's side during his empire.
Today you can admire the Pecile, a reproduction of the one in Athens, Hadrian's favorite city. The Pecile is a massive square which borders a garden with a large central pool. You can also visit the Canopo used as a place for a big outdoor banquet. It is enriched with numerous copies of famous Greek statues. You can walk through the Piazza d'Oro which was dedicated to public functions of Hadrian's villa thanks to its central garden with a rectangular pool and a breathtaking column porch. Moreover, you can visit the Teatro Marittimo which is thought to have been the first private residence of Hadrian in the villa of Tivoli. You can admire rests of the ancient mosaic. Finally, you can figuratively dip yourself in the Thermal pools: the big ones and the small ones known as "Grandi e Piccole Terme." The way that those buildings are decorated let us think that the Piccole Terme were for important visitors and the imperial family, while the Grandi Terme were designated for people who worked at the villa. 


How to get there

Hadrian's villa of Tivoli is located 28 km from Rome, and you can easily reach it with public transportations such as underground, buses or trains.
If you want to take the underground, you have to hop on Metro B and hop off at Ponte Mammolo bus station. From there you take the Cotral bus going to Via Triburtina, and you will end up 10/15 minutes walking distance from Hadrian's villa of Tivoli.
If you prefer to take the train you just have to take one from Roma Termini that stops in Tivoli train station, and then you have to take the CAT bus number 4, and you will end up 5 minutes walking distance from Hadrian's villa of Tivoli.

Useful information

Open everyday (except January 1st, December 25th)
8.30 - 17.00 2 Jan - 31 Jan
8.30 - 18.00 1 Feb - 29 Feb
8.30 - 18.30 March
8.30 - 19.00 Last Sunday of March - 30 April
8.30 - 19.30 1 May - 31 Aug
8.30 - 19.00 1 Sep - 30 Sep
8.30 - 18.30 October
8.30 - 17.00 Last Sunday of October - 31 Dec
Admission: 10 Euro  
If you're going to Tivoli there is another amazing site that you shouldn't miss: Villa D'Este discover this spectacular place