Villa d’Este, Tivoli, Italy

BREAKING NEWS: I HAVE FOUND HEAVEN. And it’s Villa d’Este, in the small town of Tivoli, Italy.

IMG_9920.jpgA UNESCO World Heritage site, it is one of the most remarkable examples of Renaissance culture at its most refined. Construction started in 1550 and continued for many years, and when you’re there, you can aboslutely see why.

Fountains are everywhere, around every corner, tucked in every spare inch of the 16th century villa. The paths are a mix of cobblestone and faded tiles, lined with lush, blooming trees and beautiful, fragrant flowers. Vines crawl up the walls and it’s as if they knew, even back in 1550, that we’d want to take something called pictures here one day, and set little balconies all over, the perfect photo perches.

Buy your ticket (€8) at the desk, and head into the most charming of courtyards.

IMG_9921IMG_8366By this time, my heart was pounding. I was so beyond excited to be here, to actually step foot in this place I’d had on my Pinterest board for years.

IMG_8485.jpgThrough the courtyard, you can walk through all the rooms of the villa. They don’t have furniture, and some rooms have the occassional art piece, but where they shine is up above. The ceilings were overwhelmingly beautiful, each one unique.

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We kept the indoor activities to a minimum, I wanted to get outside and into the gardens as soon as possible. It was the right decision, see proof below:

IMG_0105.jpgIMG_9941IMG_0110IMG_9947IMG_9986IMG_8477We went down a perfect set of stairs, and around the corner to just one of the villa’s incredible waterfalls.

IMG_9999IMG_0072IMG_0084IMG_0043IMG_8440We went back up the stairs, for a bird’s eye view of the waterfall.

IMG_0093IMG_0099IMG_0375My favorite part was probably the trail of 100 fountains. I intended to count them and see if there actually are 100, but I was too enthralled with the fountains that I completely forgot.

IMG_9965IMG_9973IMG_9980.jpgIMG_9982.jpgHonestly, Villa d’Este is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m going to go out on a limb and say I like it better than Versailles, and I don’t throw those words around lightly.

IMG_9991IMG_0181IMG_0090IMG_0258Please, I am begging you, if you are anywhere near Rome, make the trip out to Tivioli and explore Villa d’Este. It will NOT disappoint.

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