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Tivoli, home of the Roman villas

Along the western slopes of the Sabine hills and approximately 20 miles from Rome, we find the city of Tivoli. It is believed that the city was originally founded as Tibur and its history dates back to the 13th century B. C.

The Romans conquered the city in 338 a. C and over the years became one of the favorite places of Emperor Augustus and many rich Romans who established their retreats or villas in Tivoli. The villas were country houses built for the upper class of the Republic or Empire.

The decline of the Roman Empire in the 4th century led to the abandonment and disuse of these villas. Statues and marble were removed from the villas for other uses.

Today, Tivoli is home to Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These constitute the main tourist attractions of the city. Other places to visit include Villa Gregoriana (now a park and home to the Great Cascade of the Aniene River), Rocca Pia (now a prison), the Tivoli Cathedral, as well as the ruins of the Temples of Vesta (circular shape) and ” Tiburtine Sibila ”(rectangular in shape).

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