The city of Tivoli, in ancient times called Tibur, is found in the hills about 20 kilometers east of Rome in the region of Lazio on the waterfalls of the Aniene River. Traces of this ancient town date as far back as the 13th century B.C.
It was an important town for its location which led across the mountain regions of the Apennines. Once an independent ally of Rome, Tivoli later became a resort area for the Romans, around 90 B.C., due to its beauty and pure waters. Many villas were constructed there, the most famous being that of emperor Hadrian, of which whose ruins can still be seen. Other summer villas included those of Augustus, Maecenas, and the poet Horace.
Later in the 10th century, Tivoli became an independent municipal and became the fiercest rival of Rome for control over the region. In 100i, under the reign of Emperor Otto III, it was conquered and fell under the control of the Papacy but was nonetheless able to maintain a level of independence up until the 15th century. During this time, the Palace of Arengo, the Torre del Comune (Municipal Tower) and the church of St. Michael, were all built . In 1155 a new line of walls were also constructed to house the increasing population and some of these houses can still be seen throughout Tivoli.
During the Renaissance period several new buildings were erected in Tivoli by Popes and cardinals like the massive fortress of Rocca Pia, built by Pope Pius II in 1461 as a symbol of power.
Later, around the mid 1500's, other villas were added to Tivoli, the most famous being Villa d'Estate, belonging to Cardinal Ippolito d'Estate, and later again in the early 1800's the park Villa Gregoriana, was added by Pope Gregory the XVI.
Tivoli today, boasts an economy mainly due to its important quarries and their production of travertine rock and paper industry. Excavations are also underway with interesting discoveries already found under the ruins of Hadrian's villa.
The beautiful landscape of Tivoli can be admired through its historic monuments, villas and surrounding hills covered with vineyards and gardens.
Wether of Rome