Tivoli.

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The perfect day trip for a sunny Sunday. An hour outside Rome, there is a small town on a hill, Tivoli. It has to be one of the most pleasant Italian places I have visited, especially on a Sunday when majority of the shops are closed, and while the tourist season isn’t in full swing.
After 40 minutes standing on a packed bus and a quick panino in the sun we made out first stop. Villa d’Este, this 17th century villa belonged to Pope Alexander VI’s grandson, I’m still trying to work out how the Pope had a grandson, but, none the less, it is magnificent.
We didn’t spend much time looking at the inside, and opted for the huge garden instead. The most fascinating part of this place is that all but two of the gardens 500 beautiful water features are gravity powered as the Aniene river trickles through the entire town. Walking from fountain to fountain with the stunning views and clear blue skies in the background was unbelievable, and now that spring has officially begun, there are rows and rows of brightly coloured flowers lining the fountain edges, and from one side, you can even spot a tiny St. Peter’s in the distance.

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After a few hours in Villa d’Este we spotted Villa Gregoriana on the map, we were already there so why not. This park, mainly made up of bush land leads you along a rugged, and exhausting path, as you make your way to the grand waterfall. Stops along the way take you to amazing look out points, hidden caves, and even a perfect rainbow, created from the spray of the grand waterfall. Although stunning, in contrast to the gardens of Villa d’Este, for me, it just didn’t hold the same beauty. Had I of visited them on different days, perhaps it would of been more spectacular, or maybe it was just to similar to home for me. Either way, Tivoli is such a wonderful town, so quiet and still it was hard to believe that we were only 40 minutes outside of Rome’s chaos.

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