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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day two

Back on day one,  we studied the tour book available to our hotel and chose some tours.
We thought that a simple half day tour would be a good way to ease us into things so we picked "Tivoli. Hardian's Villa and Villa d'Este"..............A half day tour.

After a bus ride we were told "lets get started up the hill to see the gardens!"  A 1/2 mile uphill hike was just the beginning of getting around these ruins. Now I have to tell you that they are interesting and I wish I would have studied more before we went but they should have rated the activity level of this tour as very high because along with the uphill climb the ruins were on up and down terrain and the only restroom was down in a basement.

We were not offered any water not did the tour guide stop for us buy water on this tour. Hubby and I and another couple did stop and buy some water and then had to run to try to find the group.

If you remember the Pantheon was built by the Roman Emperor Hardian, well this land was part of his Bride's dowry and he turned these 250 acres (of which much is still unexcavated) into a little royalty get-away if you please.

"At it’s peak splendour, the villa was complete with gardens, pools, walkways and sporting areas for leisure activities of all kinds, while the numerous structures on the property were home to stadiums, theatres, pools and thermal springs, libraries, temples, basilicas, entertainment suites and of course the private quarters of the imperial family. Over the course of two centuries – construction began in the 2nd century B.C. only to be completed mid-way through the 1st century B.C. – the villa had become the epitome of imperial refinement and power, representing the height of roman domain and magnificence."

 Olive tree in bloom on the grounds.

Hardian was a man of mixed sexual interests of young good looking men as well as his adulteries with married woman.

(this really was a fine specimen)

So we walked around this huge area and finally back in the bus for another short ride to the second part of this tour......

This was the description in the tour book...."enchanting villa of the Renaissance rich in fountains, jeux d'eau, waterfalls and incomparable Italian garden".

What they didn't tell you is this.............."spectacular terraced garden in the late-Renaissance mannerist style, which took advantage of the dramatic slope  but required innovations in bringing a sufficient water supply, which was employed in cascades, water tanks, troughs and pools, water jets and fountains".

Upon arriving and looking down on this garden.....our guide simple said...."Remember if you walk have to walk back up." Well, I was done with uphill and down hill so these are the only pictures I have to share with you and they are not from the garden but from a few buildings we went through on our way to the garden.

Arched ceiling with rock work.....
Another ceiling with paintings.

I am sure you have guessed by now that this tour was not my favorite, in fact I took the time to write a bad review of it on tripadvisor so hopefully others would know what they are getting in for. This was also one of the few tours that stated  "No Drop Off" and we managed to over-look that so went without our map but hubby still had the state of mind to not allow them to drop us off where they wanted to (two miles from our hotel) and made them take us closer but we were still lost so we were out a cab fare too.

The tour cost 58 Euro each and to help you understand the exchange.....we gave them $1,500 to exchange at the hotel and they gave us 900.00 Euro in return......ouch!
We were very glad to get back to our wonderful hotel and I soaked my feet in cold water...mmmmmmmm

 and so it is with travel......good times and trying times.


Nancy said...

As beautiful as it might have been, I would not have walked DOWN to the garden either.

One of my dreams is to see and sit in a Greek or Roman amphitheater and soak up the history.

TexWisGirl said...

it does sound like a beating! no stops for water? sheesh!

i laughed at your 'fine specimen' as i was thinking 'what a great butt!' :)

Bev said...

Beautiful pictures and great history...even though the tour was not great...

Chatty Crone said...

I have to tell you - I am laughing -because I know what you were feeling! lol Nice photos! sandie

Lady Di Tn said...

Looks like a marvelous place to explore but with more time and a little refreshments on the way. Glad you wrote that review. Peace

Michelle said...

That IS a fine specimen!

Lap Dog Knits said...

a wonderful trip you've experienced..bummer about the dollar exchange rate, I'm starting to feel they are using that same rate at the grocery store these days.

Excellent photos, thanks for sharing all the detailed information too!

Wool Winder said...

Yeah, I could tell this tour was not on your top ten list. I bet the bad experience helped you chose better tours the rest of the time.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Oh I so enjoyed catching up! It looks like a great trip..stay safe and have fun! :)