Villa d'Este - Tivoli - mandela

The perhaps most famous Villa in the surroundings of Rome is Villa d'Este, in Tivoli. It was one of the first «giardini delle meraviglie» (gardens of wonder), and the most renowned one.

Villa d'Este, the Oval fountain

The name recalls that it was built (in the 16th century) for Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, the son of Lucrezia Borgia and Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara. It is certainly a place you cannot miss during your experience in Mandela.

Among the really many fountains, the Fountain of the Organ (Fontana dell’Organo) deserves a special note, because it is a musical fountain: the passage of water through internal canals and whirlpools moves the air which makes the organ play and the water pressure activates an engine that touches the organ keyboard. The organ has 144 pipes and can play 4 pieces of late Renaissance music.

Villa d'Este, Fountain of the Organ

Several gardens and parks in the world resemble or recall Villa d'Este in a chain of cross references. The Jardins de Tivoli in Paris, France, ("Le Tivoli") were the best known ones. The Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Tivoli City Park in Ljubljana, Slovenia, recall the Parisian garden. The Tivoli Japan in Kurashiki, Japan, were based on the park in Copenhagen. Not to mention the Austrian park in Vienna, the 'Tivoli', which indeed have very little similarity with the Villa.

If you love music, while waiting to reach this place, or remembering when you were here, you might perhaps enjoy Franz Liszt's 'Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este' (Wasserspiele in der Villa d'Este), a pre-Impressionist piece dedicated to the Villa.

Villa d'Este is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.