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“Awesome; worth the trip”
Review of Villa Adriana

Villa Adriana
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US$16,54*
and up
Skip-the-Line: Hadrian's Villa Entrance Ticket
Ranked #3 of 52 things to do in Tivoli
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: This is an exceptional complex of classical buildings built in the 2nd century AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, which reproduces the best elements of the cultures of Egypt, Greece and Rome in the form of an "ideal city."
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The Villa Adriana is truly special at multiple levels. First, it is just a lovely park to wander, enjoy the weather, watch people. Second, and more important, it is a great archaeological site which provides insight into how emperors lived and the genius of Hadrian himself. And third, you will never look at a vaulted ceiling in the same way. It is definitely worth the trip.

Thank Baya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"audio guide"
in 64 reviews
"the bus"
in 67 reviews
"emperor hadrian"
in 35 reviews
"the main road"
in 17 reviews
"ancient rome"
in 23 reviews
"small museum"
in 9 reviews
"information boards"
in 9 reviews
"olive groves"
in 9 reviews
"archaeological site"
in 13 reviews
"beautiful ruins"
in 11 reviews
"interested in roman history"
in 7 reviews
"roman empire"
in 16 reviews
"century ad"
in 9 reviews
"ticket office"
in 20 reviews
"mosaic floors"
in 11 reviews
"large site"
in 10 reviews
"scale model"
in 8 reviews
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7 - 11 of 2 655 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The first thing you must realise is that this is not a garden; this is a huge archaeological site over many acres. My advice is to have the audio tour or at very least take a guide. The on-line app is very useful too. As previous reviews have said, the signposting is not great and you will end up getting lost - the site is just vast. So, stumble around, look, learn and above all, enjoy!

Thank Pinkertonx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were disappointed in Villa Adriana. Yes, the site is huge. Yes, there are a few interesting things to see - though quite spread out. The museum (which has the actual sculptures that were left on site) was closed the day we were there, for no apparent reason. A guided tour was admitted, but we weren't allowed even a peak inside. The site has few useful labels/maps and the audio guide fails to direct you clearly from point to point, so you wind up wandering aimlessly, eventually saying "oh, that must be what they were talking about in the guide 5 stops ago." Save your time for the hundreds of terrific fountains & squirts at Villa d'Este.

Thank LjWrwc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2018

Villa Adriana is must! It combines very interesting and well preserved roman architecture, with a great landscape. When I visited in November 2017 there were only a few visitors, and thus I had the chance to appreciate the beauty and calm of the place. A small guide book, available in the entrance, is highly recommended for navigating in this extended archaeological site, since there are no marked routes (which is not bad, since one is free to explore it in his/ her own way).

It is possible to visit the site by public transport: metro to P. Mammolo station, from there bus to Villa Adriana village and then a short walk of 1,3 km to the entrance of the archaeological site. Public transportation from Rome is convenient and reliable, although one should have in mind that it takes about two hours from the city centre to the archaeological site, mainly because of traffic in the part of the route from P. Mammolo to the village of Villa Adriana.

1  Thank Constantinos2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 May 2018

We booked a tour of the Villa Adriana through Viator. The tour was met in Rome, and we made the short bus ride, beginning at the Vila Adriana.

This was my first experience with a "Skip the Line" type of tour. Basically, it means someone else buys your tickets so you don't have to stand in line, which sort of sums up most tours. That's why we book tours, no?

Anyhow, there was no line to skip the morning of our visit. It was a quiet, cool morning in mid-March. Ours was, I believe, the only bus in the lot upon our arrival. There were only a handful of cars there. Our group walked up the tree-lined lane to the entrance with no one else around. Ancient olive trees grew in the grove adjacent the walk.

The first stop before entering the villa is a pavilion with a scale model of the villa as it was believed to have looked in Hadrian's time. It is a useful reference tool, providing a visual reference for comparing the extant ruins to their original design.

Passing through the outer wall, we encountered the reflecting pool, a nice place to pose for the obligatory selfie. The setting is ideal, with the hills providing a fine backdrop.

We then moved to into the ruins of the buildings. I will not bog this review down with a blow-by-blow description, as there are a extensive amount of ruins, many of which provide a remarkable view. I will try, however, to provide enough detail without being too wordy.

I moved about the ruins, away from the group to take photos while remaining within range of the 'whisper', so I could hear the guide telling of the history of the villa.

Hadrian's private retreat, surrounded by the green-waters of the moat, is perhaps one of the more recognizable features of the villa. Ringed by columns or partial columns, it remains in a lovely state of ruin.

A flight of brick stairs leads from there to the library - with its walled grove of old olive trees, and rows of inaccessible chambers alongside. Gates there keep the visitors confined to the passageways, but one can lean across them to get a view of some of the mysteries beyond.

The next stop is the guest quarters, with perhaps the best-preserved floor mosaics to be found among the ruins. The plaster and marble wall covers have been stripped away by the ages, though hints of their magnificence remain.

The palace is next - Hadrian's residence within the villa. The ruins there are extensive, though mostly stripped of their finery. A few traces of the detailed floors remain, roped off to prevent damage.

The Barracks were next, though the sign said "Caserma Dei Vigili" (House of the Firemen). The guide described this as the barracks of Hadrian's guards, quite at odds with the descriptive plaque. It was near here that we first encountered ruins with the vaulted roofs intact.

We next paused at the fish pond, now dry and grass-filled. This area provides a beautiful backdrop, with the hills in the background beyond tall columns which support nothing by sky.

My notes do not record the name of the next area of ruins - an extensive network of opulent chambers. Tall, vaulted chambers with their roofs somewhat intact. One chamber, blocked from entry but open enough to permit photos, retains some of the original ceiling work which decorated the brick-and-stone vaults. The level of detail, and the marble remaining on the walls suggest these were spaces for important receptions.

The next stop was the most iconic view of the villa - the statue-lined reflecting pool. The replica statues ring the pool, allowing visitors to replicate the now-famous photos of the villa's pride and joy.

Our tour provided us there with about twenty minutes of free time to wander about, taking more photos and enjoying the quiet of the morning. We then made the short walk back to our entry point to board the bus home.

4  Thank Shapley_Hunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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