Visit the historic vacation homes of the Roman elite on a Rome to Tivoli day trip. The full-day guided excursion includes tours of Tivoli’s two UNESCO-listed sites: Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este. Hear Renaissance and Ancient Roman history and scandal, admire archaeological ruins and explore some of Italy’s most extravagant private gardens.
7-hour Tivoli day trip from Rome
Learn intriguing Renaissance history on a guided walking tour of two villas east of Rome
Explore the archaeological ruins of Hadrian's Villa, former home to 2nd-century Emperor Hadrian
Admire the stunning gardens of Villa d'Este and see the famous Fountain of Neptune
Transport from Rome to Tivoli by air-conditioned coach
Travel from Rome to Tivoli by air-conditioned coach to start your day trip. As you travel, listen to your guide’s commentary about Tivoli, a historic town in the Monti Tiburtini hills. A prestigious vacation spot in the days of Ancient Rome, the town is now popular for its two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este. Your first stop in Tivoli is at Hadrian’s Villa for a walking tour. Hear how the villa belonged to Emperor Hadrian who desired an unassuming vacation home as a tribute to his lover. By modern standards, his ‘humble abode’ could be considered a town in its own right. The ruins of the emperor’s impressive estate consist of more than 30 buildings, and you’ll see the highlights as you explore. Discover the complex ruins of the old imperial palace as well as thermal baths, temples, libraries and subterranean passages that are wide enough for vehicles. Enjoy lunch at your own expense, and then continue to Villa d'Este: explore the former Benedictine convent, and see why many consider the villa to be one of the finest of the Renaissance era. As you explore, hear how Villa d’Este was built as an opulent abode for the son of Lucretia Borgia, a 15th-century duchess who attracted drama and gossip wherever she went. Make your way past the Fountain of Neptune, and wander through the gardens to see waterfalls, fountains and centenary trees. Leave Villa d’Este after your tour, and then relax on your journey back to Rome.
Had heard that these gardens and fountains should be seen if in Rome. Glad we toured both villas.
Great to get out of Rome and be somewhere where there were not a lot of people. Beautiful fountains, and the tour guide was informative and very knowledgeable.
Would recommend to other travelers.
I didn't really know what to expect as i'd never heard of these villas but this trip turned out to be one of the highlights of our holiday. Our tour guide Giuseppe was great, so knowledgeable and gave us great recommendations for food when we got to Tivoli - please take his lunch recommendations! The villas are beautiful and the organ at Villa d'Este was breathtaking. I'd go back here in a heartbeat, would thoroughly recommend this experience.
I'm going to start this out by saying I rarely give anyone a negative review - typically if I wasn't happy I would just not write a review. But these locations are worth seeing. We loved Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este. They were beautiful, and definitely worth visiting - I recommend those highly. Unfortunately, we had a tour guide who wasn't so spectacular. To give him the benefit of doubt - perhaps he was in a bad mood because of the family that showed up 25 minutes late and put us behind schedule. We didn't like them so much either. I really don't like to give bad ratings to anyone. Everyone has a bad day sometimes and is trying to earn a living, or there are circumstances I don't know about - but this was the only bad tour guide experience we had in Italy and let's face it - these tours aren't cheap. I wish I remembered his name, but he is probably in his 50's with curly dark hair. My husband and I refer to him as "Andiamo, let's go now, this way please" in a very bored voice, because that is what he said multiple times at every stop we made. He gave us a little history, and provided some time for photos, but I didn't feel like I was learning as much on this tour as I had on the others, and his attitude did not make this long trip enjoyable. He told everyone up front to ask questions if they weren't getting the information they wanted, but then he didn't seem quite so amenable when he did get questions and seemed to just give the absolute minimum to the few people who did ask questions. The stop in Tivoli seemed kind of pointless, as we only stopped there for lunch and some free time. He recommended a place, where most of us ended up eating, that was bland and was some of the only not amazing food we had in Italy. Again - giving him the benefit of doubt - perhaps it was the best restaurant in town, or the only one that could accommodate a large group. I don't know. But it wasn't good. That doesn't say anything good about Tivoli. Even by American Italian food standards.
Overall, I highly recommend seeing Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este, but maybe select a different service, or - if you meet your guide and he seems to match my description - demand a different guide before you leave on the tour. Did he ruin our 2 week trip - No. Did I feel like this tour was the biggest waste of my money (which I work hard for) - Yes. I literally had no other negative reviews to give on my trip experiences.
The tour guide was wonderful, interesting, knowledgeable and very personable.
We had plenty of time to explore on our own, but could always get to him with any questions.
This was a beautiful tour and we highly recommend it.
The last time I visited Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este was 44 years ago. I found both places quite changed. There were many more people at each site, now, although neither place seemed crowded; Hadrian’s Villa was greatly expanded (as I recall, we drove right up to it); and Villa d’ Este was no longer the overgrown, slightly decaying place I visited so many years ago. What made this a trip memorable was our extremely intelligent and informative guide, Alfredo. Alfredo kept us all on track, was extremely professional, and provided a wealth of information, without ever being pedantic. All guides should be Alfredo.. I should also mention that the bus was comfortable with working a/c and that the audio equipment was in good working order. It was a long day (seven hours, total) but the trip was planned to allow for some down time for participants - a decent length of time of lunch, as well as a 45 minute period toward the end to relax and wonder the lovely gardens of Villa d’ Este.
Our tour guide, Alfredo, was one of the best guides we have had in quite a while. The only complaint I have about the trip was the allocation of time between the 2 sites. We were given 20 minutes to wander around the Canope at Hadrian's villa. That time would have been better spent to allow us more time at Villa D'Este.
We chose this full day tour to visit two World Heritage sights, Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli and the Villa D'Este. These are undoubtedly major attractions and the tour attempts to visit both in a one day tour. We chose the Saturday tour, which was a good idea as the light weekend traffic meant that we arrived early at Hadrian's villa. Our guide took us round the main areas of the site where we spent about an hour. We had 10 minutes of free time so really could not explore the site. Our guide was good at showing us the few remaining pieces of marble and of other decoration which had not been looted, and we definitely saw the main sites - but I do not know whether we saw everything. I would have liked more about the history of the place and less about the olive oil we would be able to buy in Tivoli. We then drove to Tivoli and stopped for lunch. We wandered the streets a little and then had a nice lunch. You could choose whether you went to the restaurant recommended by the guide or to do your own thing. We did our own thing. The Villa D'Este was spectacular. You were guided round the gardens and given free time to explore further - we went quickly round the gardens and then explored the villa itself. It was a bit of a rush - but we saw almost everything. In summary - it was a good tour and we saw a lot, but I wanted more time at Hadrian's villa. A brave attempt but not wholly satisfactory.