Villa d’Este was Built in the 1550’s by Ipolito d’Este, grandson to Cardinal Borgia. It is famous for its water features, as Ipolito hired French engineers for the hydrolics as well as arranged withe the local people to use the river in exchange for clean water. Over twenty fountains and several grottos make up this garden as well as the three large fish ponds.

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…entrance

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…courtyard to Villa

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Fountain in courtyard

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View from Villa over lower terrace (there were at least 8 levels). Fontana del Tripode.

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Terrace wall and planters

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Fontana dell’Ovato.

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View to below, the 3peschiere and Fontana di Neptune.

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Detail Fontana dell’Organo. Yes, it really plays music every 2 hours.

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Fontana di Nettuno ( lower) Fontana dell’Organo (upper)

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Cento Fontane (100 fountains)

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The systems and engineering for moving such massive volume of water was ver interesting to notice, one example here up either side of these steps. View up to the villa from lower terrace. Many stairs to climb back up.

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View from villa overlooking Fontana di Rometta and the Tivoli valley that is known for its olive oil production and travertine quarries. Much of rome’s buildings are covered in travertine from this region 1 hour away from the city.
All photos Sue Womersley.