Villa D’Este – Famous gardens of the Master Landscapers series

The Villa d’Este is a 16th Century villa found in Tivoli, which is situated near Rome. It processes a beautiful Italian Renaissance garden,  which is filled with hundreds of water features and fountains. 

Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este commissioned the villa, and construction started in 1560. With the aesthetic principles of the Renaissance, the garden was carefully divided into regular units, each 30 meters across, laid out along a longitudinal median axis, with five lateral axes.

In 1566 the Cardinal made his 5th attempt to be elected Pope, but was defeated,  and excluded from any more official appointments.  

His last important guest at the Villa,  Pope Gregory XIII, arrived in the summer of 1572. The reception for the Pope nearly bankrupted him, as the reception included the fact tracking of the dragon fountain and the redecorating of the Villa; and he died soon after in December 1572.

The Villa then changed hands numerous times, with the enormous maintenance costs, causing it’s owners to struggle. 

Eventually,  after the First World War the Villa was acquired by the Italian State which began restoration in 1922.

The fame and glory of the Villa d’Este was above all established by it’s extraordinary system of fountains; 51 fountains and nymphaeums, 398 Spouts, 364 water jets, 64 water falls, 220 basins all fed by 875 meters of canals, channels and cascades,  all without any pumps, just the force of gravity. The water is supplied by the Aniene, which is partly diverted through the town.