The most popular destinations for day trips from Rome are Tivoli and Frascati. Tivoli is located 30 km east of Rome. Tivoli was a resort back in the days of the Roman Empire, and today the city is known for its villas, which are included in the World Heritage List of mankind. Villa Adriana was built in the period from 118 to 134 AD. under Emperor Hadrian, it looked more like a small city than a large villa: gardens, lakes, about 30 buildings, including temples, theaters and baths, and a network of underground tunnels, where even horses and carts passed. You can estimate the size of the original building by examining the model of the villa at the entrance to the excavation area. Emperor Adrian was known as an avid traveler, so he borrowed many elements of his house from those buildings that he saw in other states. The main attraction of the villa was the chambers of the Teatro Marittimo, where the emperor retired. The building was erected in the middle of an artificial lake and it could only be reached by boat. Villa d’Este is famous for its garden and park ensemble with fountains, which became the prototype of the complex of fountains of the Russian Peterhof. It was erected in 1550 for Cardinal Hippolyte d’Este, and the remains of the buildings of the Villa Hadrian were used in its construction. Villa d’Este is a fine example of Renaissance architecture. Of greatest interest here is the garden with fountains. In the 16th century, the complex water supply system of the fountains was considered the pinnacle of hydraulic engineering, and even today the numerous fountains, each of which is a separate work of art, are truly impressive. Also in Tivoli there are such historical monuments as the Gregorian Villa with a 100-meter waterfall, the remains of the Temple of Vesta and the Temple of Sibyl, built before our era, the ruins of the Roman amphitheater, the Ponte Gregoriano bridge,
According to percomputer, south of Tivoli stretch Alban mountains, which are of volcanic origin. In the craters of the local ancient extinct volcanoes, lakes Albano and Nemi are located. On Lake Nemi, under the emperor Caligula, huge ships were built, which were floating temples and palaces. Legendary wrecks have attracted numerous explorers here. In 1927-1932 the Italian dictator Mussolini ordered the lake to be drained. The skeletons of huge ships were found at its bottom. However, they were destroyed during the fighting during World War II. On the western shore of Lake Albano is the summer residence of the pope – Castel Gandolfo. The residence was built in the 17th century on the site of the ancient city of Alba Longa, founded in 1152 BC. Alba Longa is considered the birthplace of the founders of Rome – the legendary Remus and Romulus, as well as the location of the sanctuary of Jupiter Latsiaris, which was the religious center of the Latium region and the center of Roman power. The first pope to spend the summer at Castel Gandolfo was Pope Urban VIII. The papal residence consists of the Papal Palace from the 17th century, the Villa Barberini, added to the complex at the beginning of the 20th century, the vast Papal Gardens, which are not accessible to tourists, and Piazza della Liberta, where cafes, shops and the church of Sant’Tommaso di are located. -Villanova designed by Bernini.
Not far from here, surrounded by picturesque landscapes, is the town of Frascati, which is famous for its white wine and Renaissance palaces. In the summer, residents of Rome come here for weekends, who are tired of the bustle of the city and exhaust gases. The main attraction of the city are the numerous villas built since the 16th century by popes, cardinals and Roman nobility. All of them are decorated inside with frescoes, paintings and sculptures, but many villas are not accessible to the public, tourists can only stroll through the gardens surrounding them. Frascati’s most prominent villa is Villa Aldobrandini (1550), designed by della Porta. It stands in the center of Frascati on the main square.
A little to the east is the city of Palestrina, which in ancient times was known as Praeneste. Legends say that Praeneste was founded by the son of Odysseus – Telegon. Before the Romans, the Etruscans lived here, and under the Romans, the city became a resting place for the rich. Since the 17th century, Palestrina has belonged to the noble Barberini family. You can learn about the rich history of the city in the Archaeological Museum, opened on the excavation site of a Roman temple from the 2nd century BC. The famous Nile mosaic, presumably from the 1st century BC, is exhibited here. It was discovered in Palestrina in the 17th century. Representatives of the Barberini family took it to Rome and placed it in their palace, but in the middle of the 20th century the mosaic returned. The antique Nile mosaic measures 5.85 x 4.31 m and depicts scenes of Egyptian life.