Monday, May 23, 2011

Tivoli: The "cozy" Villa Hadriana

Can you imagine?

That's what I kept wanting to say on the day I toured around Villa Hadriana in Tivoli, Italy. 

According to Wikipedia, the villa was constructed as a retreat from Rome for Emperor Hadrian during the second and third decades of the 2nd century AD. That was just after Jesus made his big debut, yo. This place is OLD. 

Hadrian wasn't digging his digs in Rome (probably tired of the traffic and weaving around tourists), so he created this little getaway just outside of Tivoli. It was just a cozy villa, made up of over 30 buildings covering over a square kilometre. 

You know. A cottage of sorts.

Villa Hadrian gives you the ruins you believe in when you think of Roman ruins. And it gives them to you beautifully. I can always tell a day is terrific when I drift off to sleep with images of it in my mind. The statues, the water, the ruins, the vines draping over ruins... it all makes you want to know what it was like when the emperor lived there. I like to imagine him lazing around in his toga and gold crown, eating grapes and consulting with other toga wearing advisors on how to run various aspects of the empire. 

Can you imagine? 
So many things in Rome look like a movie set, when really, movie sets were designed after these scenes in Rome.

He doesn't have much to say, but that's alright. I don't know much Italian anyway... YET.

I love it when clouds cooperate with the composition. Those clouds ended up raining us out at lunch.

You know something is built right when it's still beautiful centuries later in the form of ruins.

Magical tree right in the middle of the action.

Near the end of the tour, the most beautiful places were the shady places. It was HOT.

Villa Hadriana can't help but be lovely. Even the poppies want to live here.

Some messages are universal.

Villa Hadriana was lovely. It inspired me to get back to painting. It also inspired me to lay around in my bed sheets and eat grapes. 


  1. I love your pictures! Seriously, I think you need to make your own Italian calendar.

    I don't know where Tivoli is, but what a great stop. Hope your travels are going well. Can't wait to read about the next destinations!

  2. Nice pics Jan I really like the one with you in it.Please keep in touch haven't heard from you lately


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