Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tivoli...Ancient Hot Spot

Likely you may not have heard of the medieval hill town of Tivoli just a few miles East of Rome.

But in ancient times, anyone who was anyone had a villa in Tivoli.

Falling into obscurity during the period of the Renaissance, eventually popes and cardinals came back to the city and built villas impressive enough to rival the original inhabitants of Tivoli.

Villa d-Este is a masterpiece of Italian Gardens built in the 1550's.

Alexander VI was pope and his grandson Ippolito built this beautiful palace at Tivoli.

I waited forever for this hallway to be clear of people to take this shot.
Ippolito later became a cardinal and Villa d'Este was his claim to fame.

 It is a large residential estate

with hundreds of Baroque fountains all gravity-powered.

Completely restored, the fountains still function using natural hydraulics.

The engineering prowess of ancient Romans using stone and water to build fanciful fountains

are clearly something to be marveled at...even today.

 As is the prowess of these camera toting queens.

"Photobomb" became a common expression passed among us during our trip to Italy. You have the perfect shot set up and then suddenly someone steps into your photo. Most times we were photobombed by strangers...

but sometimes we photobombed each other!

Nearly every day we had to do a "shoe shot!" Usually making a scene...we never minded where we stopped to take the photo.

Our beautiful hosts Franco and Helena. I fell in love with the love they share for each other. I asked Helena if Franco was sick of us yet...remember he doesn't speak English. She said "Of course not...because he is happy when I am happy. And having you all here in Rome makes me happy!" Awwww...Italy I adore these two!

The fountains truly were marvelous and I stood in awe as I watched the mechanics of the Organ Fountain behind me and the Neptune Fountain below me.

Later after descending into the gardens we were completely awestruck after turning around to view the magnificence of the Neptune Fountain.

Pretty enough location for a photo I'd say! We convinced Franco to take this one of us using Helena's camera...he's quite the professional.

 Also...falling down here is not allowed.

Nicole carried these two little guys all over Paris last February and now Italy...photographing them and sometimes posting to Instagram. It became a fun game to play.

At the top of the stairs you'll notice Franco...patiently waiting for us. Can you imagine the patience it must have taken...chauffeuring and tagging along with five women photographers.

 Stopping to take stone hand photos might have really pushed the ordinary man beyond his limit!

 But how can we help ourselves...

with beauty waiting to be photographed in every direction.

With narrow winding streets, and views of the countryside all the way into Rome, Tivoli is quite the charming and vibrant town.

The village was friendly and welcoming in every way.

The big surprise of the day had to be our lunch stop...which Helena kept secret. The restaurant Antiche Terme di Diana was one of the most unique places I've ever had a meal. 

The owner discovered the space years ago after feeling a slight breeze coming from a small hole in the wall. After careful was determined to be ancient Roman baths...thousands of years old. Respecting the values of the past, the space was slowly renovated and transitioned into today's restaurant room by room.

Famous for their egg pasta...the food was luscious. Being in the restaurant felt like stepping back in time. Truly an unforgettable meal.

A quick drive out of the mountains and we found ourselves at the monthly flea market held in Rome near the bridge Ponte Milvio.

Anyone need a camera?

Treasures of all kinds may be found here...including photobombers in our mirror shot!

Who could pass this prize up?

OK...I could take some of this home.

How do you end the perfect day of ancient ruins, fountains, pasta, friendship and photography? With Italian gelato of course!


  1. Wow! What an amazing trip. I'm so happy to follow along. :)

  2. Oh Lisa these are beautiful. Your photobomb with the man in the hat is perfect! I love that he stepped into your shot. Thank you for sharing more! I want to see more!

  3. Lovely photos Lisa! It's amazing how different our photos are even though we were at the same place. Keep these coming!


  4. I love the shot of all of you in front of the fountain. Of course I love them all!