For those with an interest in history, Tivoli is a sought-after tour destination and makes for a fantastic day trip from Rome. In this small town in the Lazio region of Italy, you will come across several Roman ruins, while the city is surrounded by remnants of ancient aqueducts and various hiking and cycling trails.
Tivoli boasts not only one but two UNESCO World Heritage sites – Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este. You have the option to visit both villas on the same day, either independently or with the assistance of a guided tour. Read on to discover more!
Tivoli by Tour
To enjoy a worry-free day with transportation and visits to the attractions taken care of, consider opting for a guided tour. The Tivoli Day Trip from Rome: Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este offers a seamless journey from Rome to the two UNESCO sites, with expert-led walking tours of each to ensure you experience the best highlights. This group tour spans around seven hours, during which you will gain insights into the history of these magnificent estates as you explore them.
For a more individualized and personalized encounter, the From Rome to Tivoli private tour offers a private vehicle service that takes you to each destination. Upon arrival in Tivoli, your private driver will introduce you to a skilled art historian guide who will accompany you for the entirety of your two-hour visit to both villas.
Read: 4-day Rome Itinerary
How to get from Rome to Tivoli
Getting to Tivoli from Rome is pretty simple. You can choose from several transportation options:
To reach the main attractions of Tivoli from Rome’s city center, take the Metro Line B to the Ponte Mammolo station, and then you will get on a bus after exiting the Ponte Mammolo station.
Once you leave the metro stop, you may board any of the buses bound for Tivoli. However, if you intend to explore Hadrian’s Villa, you should choose the one that stops at the Tiburtina stop and walk down to access the entrance.
The other option you have is to take a train from Rome’s city center to Tivoli, but the train will take you to the base of the town, where you will have to walk up the hill to the main attractions. It’s around a 25-minute uphill walk.
Read: How to Buy Train Tickets in Italy
If you would rather drive to Tivoli from Rome, it can take around an hour, depending on where you leave from and how the traffic is. The fastest path is via the A24, and exit toward Tivoli, then continue onto Via Maremmana Inferiore/SP51a until you arrive.
When to visit Tivoli
You can visit year round, but the best time to visit is late spring or fall. You will get the best weather, not too hot and not cold either. The busiest time to visit is the beginning of the year and summer.
Read: Pompeii Day Trip
Things to do in Tivoli
Nestled in the beautiful countryside just outside of Rome, Tivoli offers a wealth of activities to offer visitors. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins, admiring beautiful gardens, or simply strolling through charming cobblestone streets, Tivoli has something for everyone on your day trip from Rome.
Visit Hadrian’s Villa (Villa Adriana)
The personal residence of the ancient Roman emperor Hadrian, this extensive palace, regarded as one of the largest ever constructed in the history of ancient Rome, is now considered to be one of the most remarkable villas from the classical age.
Following the collapse of the western Roman empire in the 5th century AD, the villa was abandoned and subsequently looted for its valuable building materials and priceless artworks. Despite the significant losses, numerous remnants of the villa still exist both on-site and in the collections of renowned museums worldwide, including the Vatican Museums. Certain decorative elements were even repurposed by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este to embellish Villa d’Este.
Spanning a massive 200 acres, Hadrian’s Villa has a lot of significant areas to explore, so expect to do some walking! To fully experience the essential sites, allocate a minimum of 3 hours during your day trip from Rome. For a comprehensive tour of everything the villa has to offer, plan on spending at least 6 hours here.
Be sure to check opening times and visiting information to plan your trip in advance. Depending on what time of the year you go, it can be pretty busy, so we always recommend getting your Tickets in advance.
Visit Villa d’Este
Make sure to add the private villa of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este to your must-visit list. The cardinal began construction in 1560, after an unsuccessful attempt to become Pope. Despite making five bids for the papacy, he was never successful.
The cardinal’s love for antiquity led him to remove numerous statues, ancient artworks, and marble from Villa Adriana to use in constructing and adorning his new home. The primary construction phase lasted nine years, during which time the breathtaking terraced gardens, grottoes, and fountains you see today were created.
Over time the Cardinal Ippolito d’Este’s family added additional features to the villa and gardens, while also renovating older sections. However, there were long periods when the estate was abandoned. At one point in time, the Italian government assumed control of the property and began a restoration program, ensuring that this historic site can be appreciated and enjoyed by visitors today.
With its rich history and vast gardens, we recommend you spend a minimum of 2 hours at Villa d’Este. If you want to plan ahead, tickets can be purchased online, otherwise, you can purchase them at the entrance along with audio guides.
Read: Florence Day Trip from Rome
FAQ And Tips For Visiting Tivoli
If you’re seeking a unique place to explore, Tivoli is definitely worth a visit. In addition to its well-known UNESCO Heritage sites, the city has a distinctive atmosphere that invites exploration off the typical tourist track. With its unique charm, adding a Tivoli day trip from Rome is something you should consider.
Yes, Tivoli is a very walkable city. Walking is one of the best ways to explore the city, as many of its most charming streets and neighborhoods are best seen on foot. Some of the city’s most popular attractions, such as the Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa , are located within walking distance of each other. However, keep in mind that Tivoli also has hills and uneven terrain, so comfortable walking shoes are recommended.