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Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli

Hadrian’s Villa is located on the plains at the foot of the Sabine hills and just below the city of Tivoli. Reaching the top of the villa requires a steep hike, which is rewarded in contemplating the beauty of the Villa. The site remains an archaeological complex, reminding us with its ruins of a powerful Roman Empire.

Originally, Hadrian’s Villa occupied about 120 hectares. Currently only 40 hectares survive together with the ruins of several structures. As was customary, most of the marble and statues used in this villa were recycled into other structures. Much of what was withdrawn from Hadrian’s Villa rests in another famous Tivoli Villa.

Where does Hadrian’s Villa come from? The Roman emperor Hadrian was one of the many wealthy Romans who had their summer retreat places or villas in Tivoli. Hadrian was the successor of Emperor Trajan. Both were born in “Hispania”, nowadays Spain. They are known as the first Spanish Roman emperors. Trajan as emperor also had a villa in Tivoli.

Hadrian acquired an existing Roman villa and transformed it into a vast residential complex, the “Villa Adriana”. The emperor had traveled a lot throughout his kingdom and rebuilt the villa, incorporating images of his travels. The most notable were of Egyptian and Greek influences. The Canopus and the Greek Library are just examples of such influences.

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