The idea to see Gregorian’s villa appeared 2 months ago during my first visit to Tivoli. Then the goal of our one-day trip was a flea market, which runs here on Wednesdays.
Approaching Tivoli, I caught a glimpse of the incredibly beautiful waterfall and decided on occasion to get there. The reason was given a few weeks later when my mother came to visit us. Her childhood dream was to see a real waterfall, and as you know, dear reader friends, if you really want to ...
I’ll start my story with useful practical information:
- Title: Villa Gregoriana (Villa Gregoriana or Gregorian villa);
- Where is: in Tivoli (a suburb of Rome - 24 km). Instructions with photos how to get to Tivoli from Rome;
- How to get there: 10 minutes walk from Tivoli Train Station. At the exit, turn right; Also, the villa can be visited during an individual excursion from Rome to the villa of 100 fountains, then you will be taken directly from the hotel.
- Working hours: in March and from October 15 to November 30 - from 10-00 to 16-00; on Sunday and holidays from 10-00 to 16-00; from April 1 to October 15 - 10-00 to 18-30; day off - Monday;
- Entry cost: as of 2013 - 6 euros, children under 12 years old - 2.5 euros;
- Estimated time of inspection: 1.5-2 hours;
- Official site: www.villagregoriana.it
What is a Gregorian villa?
At first glance, this is just a somewhat peculiar garden, laid out in a huge canyon, completely covered with a variety of green spaces, many rocks with tunnels punched in them, steep paths and an endless number of waterfalls. Upon closer examination, you will undoubtedly also come to the conclusion that Villa Gregoriana is the unity of the genius of the human mind with the genius of nature.
Romantic nature, many waterfalls and grottoes, concentrated on a small area, the small number of visitors bring the villa to the first position among the places recommended for holidays in Italy.
With caution, and before entering the villa, wrap in a supermarket located nearby. Then during lunch at the villa you can enjoy Italian wine with Parmesan cheese and sandwiches with aromatic ham, without looking up from the beautiful views of the waterfall. Rain, which is not uncommon in the area, is also unlikely to spoil your vacation. After all, it is quite possible to wait on one of the shops under overhanging cliffs.
History of occurrence
The villa arose in 1835 thanks to Pope Gregory the 16th, in whose honor it was later named. But it was like that. On the banks of the river Anio was a small town. The river was quite full, and the annual floods caused the city a lot of trouble. After another flood in 1826, which destroyed not only many buildings, but also claimed many lives, Pope Gregory 16 issued an order.
According to him, from 1832 to 1835 the riverbed was divided into three separate branches, each of which was enclosed in a tunnel. The water coming out of the tunnels fell into the gorge, and its flows formed many waterfalls. The work was carried out under the direction of the architect Clemente Folka.
The resulting gorge of waterfalls was so beautiful that it was decided to further improve it. Among the picturesque cliffs and waterfalls, paths, observation platforms, benches were made. Later, standard inspection routes were developed. Pointers set. And now everyone can get lost for a while in the kingdom of giant grottoes, hundred-meter waterfalls, green thickets and mountain paths.
Gregorian villa is widely known, thanks to its largest waterfall. Its height reaches 120 meters. And, despite the fact that today it is far from being as full of water as before (due to the power plant built upstream), it is still impressive.
Other attractions include the Grotto of Neptune and the Grotto of Sirens. The Miollis Gallery is also noteworthy. It is a small tunnel carved into the thickness of a rock in 1809 by the Governor of Rome, General Miollis.
Temple of Vesta
Separately, it is worth mentioning the ancient temple of Vesta, the remains of which are located in the territory of the Gregorian Villa. The temple was first discovered and restored in the 1st century BC. Judge Tibur Lucio Gellio. Later the temple was turned into a Christian church. But at the end of the 19th century, the temple of Vesta was returned to its original appearance.
The round temple was made with a low dome, in the middle of which was a hole. The hole served as a chimney for the sacred fire burning in the name of the goddess. Along the perimeter, the structure is surrounded by grooved columns. The floor is covered with travertine tiles. The frieze is made in the form of flowers, vines, fruits, wheat ears. The view from the temple to the river is very beautiful.
However, as always, talking about the beauty of something is probably still pointless. It only needs to be seen. I sincerely recommend everyone this awesome place to visit.
Walking through the Gregorian Villa
Having finished with the official part, I suggest you take a little walk around the villa. Hopefully still not tired of admiring the beauty?
Immediately at the entrance, we notice a lot of memorial plates and understand that this is a place with a long history.
To visit the villa, we chose a weekday at the end of November. For more than two hours walk, we met exactly 3 people. Of course, not everyone can afford a vacation in Italy at this time, and at the peak of the tourist season, which falls on May-September, you can safely expect a crowd of those suffering.
In any case, in the summer in the shade of the trees it should not be very hot. We continue to enjoy the desert paths.
Villa Gregoriana is a very green place. I would say that the green color here ruled the ball.
The brain explodes on the amount of detail.
And so we got to the first viewing platform. The only drawback of the waterfall is its murky water, but the sense of element and scale more than outweighs this moment.
Walking around the villa is a constant change of height up-down-up, so girls on stilettos are not allowed here. Super trekking boots can do nothing, any comfortable flat shoes will do.
Lucks are always the strongest and those who are not sitting at home, so we have witnessed a natural phenomenon called the rainbow.
Motivational photo for those who are looking for reasons not to do something. In any darkest room, if desired, you can find a ray of light.
As mentioned above, the villa is a great place to relax and have a picnic. Be sure to bring tram pickers, some proscrutto, olives and fresh bread. There are enough benches and tables here.
I am sure the catacombs will interest many tourists, but I prefer the external beauty and limited myself to a 2-minute presence underground.
The descents and ascents are smooth, only occasionally have to stomp the stairs, it feels like about the fifth floor.
All paths are fenced, to break into the cliff you need to try very hard.
For tall people, red warning signs are hanging.
Photo with mom as a keepsake.
Here is a new twist that he brings to us ...
And he brings us a view of a beautiful shell in the rock.
Please note that all paths are natural without paving slabs. Italians are very fond of emphasizing the naturalness of everything around and, I must admit, they have every right to do so.
Each bench has a brass name plate. Perhaps this is the name of the sponsor or just a famous person.
There are such tablets on many rocks.
Despite the large area of the villa, getting lost here will not work. There are signs on every turn. In many places there are stands with maps and emergency call points - everything for people.
If you decide to take a break from the bustle of Eternal Rome, come to Tivoli. This cozy city certainly deserves your attention, and a convenient location on the railway segment of Rome-Pescara is suitable for those who want to combine the beach part of the holiday with the cultural.