Villa Gregoriana - History and Facts | History Hit

Villa Gregoriana

Tivoli, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Villa Gregoriana is a park in Tivoli which mixes natural and archaeological beauty to great effect.

Amy Irvine

27 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Villa Gregoriana

Villa Gregoriana is a complex of wooded parks, paths, waterfalls, grottoes and vegetation in Tivoli, Italy which seamlessly blends natural and man-made wonders.

History of Villa Gregoriana

Commissioned by Pope Gregory XVI in 1835, from whom it takes its name, Villa Gregoriana was laid-out in the bed of the Aniene River at the foot of Tivoli’s Acropolis. Its aim was to protect Tivoli from the force of the floods of the Aniene. Ideally bucolic, it became the landmark and favourite landscape of poets and painters who came to the ancient city of Tibur on their ‘grand tour’ in the 19th century.

Villa Gregoriana today

The main attractions at Villa Gregoriana are the caves of Neptune and the Sirens, the many gorges and cascades and its famous 100 metre Great Waterfall, all of which are complemented by ancient treasures including Roman remains. Amongst these are the villa of Roman consul Manlius Vopiscus and the Temple of Vesta overlooking the ravine.

The nearby Gregorian Bridge (also commissioned by Pope Gregory XVI) today connects the park to Tivoli’s old town centre. The paths are rough and occasionally muddy, with many steps and slopes, so make sure to wear some sensible shoes.

Getting to Villa Gregoriana

Villa Gregoriana is situated in Tivoli, approximately 22 miles east of Rome. By car it takes around 50 minutes to get there via the A24.

If travelling by train, it’s quickest to travel from the Roma Termini (around 40 minutes). Take the RV 4168 (towards Pescara) to Tivoli. Villa Gregoriana is then around a 0.3 mi (6 minute) walk away. Other routes run from Roma Tiburtina to Tivoli, though journey lengths vary between 50 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes.

From the town’s main bus stop on Largo Garibaldi it’s about a 10 minute walk along a narrow shopping street, through the central Piazza Plebiscito, then downhill along more lanes to the bridge overlooking the Villa Gregoriana.