Italian garden tour photos from earlier this year.
Being based in Rome for a week we went for a day trip to Tivoli to see Hadrian’s Villa and Villa D’Este. Both these sites are breathtaking in their scale and ambition and rather humbling for a landscape designer in the 21st century. The hydraulic ingenuity restored at Tivoli and inferred from archaeology at Hadrian’s Villa is beyond anything I can imagine being built today.
At Tivoli water behaves in a myriad of ways to create showers, spouts, streams and noises from cannon fire to bird song. The famous ‘Hundred Fountains’ (above left) is rightly considered one of the great achievements in renaissance garden design. What I didn’t realise however is how many other water features (an inadequate phrase for this garden) there are and also the how steep the site is. Through clever use of terracing the garden is essentially one large gravity-powered water feature with path ways and steps linking each part. The overall size of the site is surprisingly small but you could walk for hours with new scenes and vistas opening at every turn. We did.
Tour part 2 – Hadrain’s Villa (coming soon)