Travels in Italy




Hadrian Villa - Lazio, Italy

Region: Lazio

In 2010 we returned for a second visit to Hadrian's Villa, which is located just outside of the town of Tivoli, a short drive from Rome.


Hadrian's Villa.

Hadrian's Villa

Hadrian's Villa

Scene of the Caopus with the Temple of Serapis. Built to replicate the canal that connected the Egyptian city of Canopus with Alexandra.

This is the remains of a large Roman villa build by Emperor Hadrian in the early 2nd Century. In its time it was massive, with over 30 different buildings. Evidently Hardrian preferred to live here, rather than in Rome partly because of his tense relationship with the Roman Senate.

Many of the buildings were built to replicate different areas of the world which where then part of the Roman Empire.

After Hadrian died, the villa was used by other Emperors that included Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Seveerus and Diocletian. But Constantine I did not like the place. He removed works of art and other treasurers, transporting them to his palace in Constantinople, which is now Istanbul.

The villa fell into ruin, and over time pretty much all the marble was stolen and taken away for other buildings. In the 16th century Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este had much of the marble and statues in Hadrian's villa removed to decorate his own Villa d'Este which is located nearby and worth a visit.

After the unification of Italy excavations started in the late 19th century. Much of the areas has been excavated. Walking around among what remains is a very pleasant and interesting experience. We have been here a couple of times and I am sure will return again.