Day Trip to Tivoli from Rome

Aerial view of Villa d’Este
After a couple of days exploring the hustle and bustle of Rome, head out on a day trip to nearby Tivoli. This small town in the hills has provided a peaceful escape from the city since ancient times. Visit the fascinating ruins of Emperor Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d'Este. As both villas are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, they’re protected and well-preserved. Take your time to explore the archeological ruins of past temples, ornate gardens, and pools. Stroll through Tivoli and enjoy a relaxed lunch on a terrace before returning to Rome.

Guide to Tivoli's Attractions:
  • Villa Adriana was built in the early 2nd century as a retreat from Rome for Emperor Hadrian. The villa incorporates lakes, fountains, libraries, baths, temples, and gardens. The size of the grounds is staggering; it’s easy to imagine the emperor himself asking for directions! 
    • As you discover the grandeur of the property, make sure to visit some of the most iconic and atmospheric ruins in Hadrian’s Villa: the Maritime Theater, the Piazza D’Oro (golden court dining room), the Heliocaminus thermal bath, and The Canopy lake lined with Grecian columns, arches, and statues.

  • Villa d’Este is a magnificent 16th-century property famous for its terraced hillside Italian Renaissance gardens with fountains and lavishly frescoed rooms. Designed by Pirro Ligorio to impress the Cardinal Ippolito d’Este’s guests, the Villa d’Este gardens are composed almost exclusively of water features. The centerpiece, the gigantic Water Organ Fountain, cascades down a huge drop into quiet, shady pools.

  • In the town center of Tivoli, you'll find many more places to visit. Firstly, we recommend having lunch and buying drinks and snacks here as there are no cafes at the villas. Some of our favorites restaurants are Sibilla (Via della Sibilla 50) and Da Pippo (Via San Valerio 20), serving the best paninis in town.

  • Villa Gregoriana, at the top of the town, is protected by the Italian Environmental Fund. This beautifully preserved park combines a hilly landscape, suitable for hiking, with ancient architecture and archaeology. As the River Aniene passes through this area, natural erosion has led to several waterfalls and caves. The Great Waterfall is a major highlight of the Villa Gregoriana, but you can also explore the Grottoes of Neptune or the Grottoes of the Sirens.

  • The Temple of Sibilla is located at the city’s highest point, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Italian landscape and Rome from afar.
Read more about unique and interesting experiences in and around Rome.

Itineraries with Day Trip to Tivoli from Rome

Family-Friendly Highlights of Italy: Venice, Florence, Rome & Naples - 14 Days

With two full weeks, your family can embrace what Italy has to offer on this tour, focused on kids aged 5-12. You'll craft Carnival masks and follow engaging clues through the canals of Venice, then experience the Renaissance arts of Florence. Tour ancient sites, extensive art collections, and fruit-filled markets in Rome before you end your trip in Naples, home of both ancient Pompeii and some of the best pizza you can find.