From really old to old in one day
After our time at Hadrian's Villa, it was time for lunch before we headed to our second destination. The heavens opened as we were trying to decide where to eat, meaning we decided pretty quickly. Italian rain is very wet and heavy.
Thankfully the rain cleared up for the very long 2-minute walk to Villa D'este. We waited for the group to gather and then our tour guide explained to us about the villa.
Villa D'este was originally a convent but an emperor decided to give it to a family as a 'gift'. It was a bit of a lame gift but he decided to turn it into something wonderful with gardens. It was built in the 16th century and developed well into the 18th century. It is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, just like Hadrian's Villa.
Our tour guide instructed us to think about this as a 20-year-old version of the 80-year-old Hadrian's Villa. Meaning that this could have been what Hadrian's Villa was like when it was at it's prime.
We were looking forward to seeing a garden. It was nice to be outside in the fresh air.
We started in the house and saw some friezes and spaces that have been restored. It was very lovely but once outside the building faded into the background.
The place is filled with water fountains, many that have been restored. It uses water from the river and it pushes through the property that slopes down the hill. Some areas haven't been restored because things like roots have destroyed them. They may still fix them though.
It had an organ water fountain that plays once or twice a day when the water builds up. Dan and Hannah love organs so they were super excited to see it. They filmed it, so you'll have to ask them to show you the delightful music and water.
It was amazing and we loved it. The water was incredible and to think it was simply the power of water being pushed through all these well-designed fountains to bring some beauty to the world. Amazing.