After a morning exploring Ostia and a quick stop in Rome to visit the coliseum and grab lunch; we boarded the train from Rome's Tiburtina station in the direction of Stazione Tivoli. I had seen pictures online but noting prepared me for what awaited us just an hour by train from Rome (for under 6 euro roundtrip).

We sat patiently as our train chugged through the hills towards the Italian country side, afar off we could see mountains covered in snow and on the other side mountain covered in grennery (natures' own abberation, I guess). The first indication we were close to Tivoli - the magnificent waterfall we spotted through the trees.

Our train pulled in the Tivoli train station about 10 minutes later. I am told there is a shuttle bus from the train station to the city center; we decided to make the almost twenty minute trek through the streets to the city center. Once we arrived at city center, we had to decidehow we wanted to spend the afternoon in Tivoli.  

This was a last minute spontenous addition to our Italy itinerary and none of us had given much thought to why we were headed to Tivoli. We had several options of villas and temples in Tivoli. I am not sure why, but we decided on Villa d'este. I am glad we did. Being a fan of Versailles in France I measure every other such villa against it. I have to say Villa D'Este is in a class all by its self.

The estate features a lovely mansion with splendidly painted ceiling, floors and walls that over an even more spectacular garden. I am told the garden was designed in the renaissance method of integrating unique water works and artistic beautiful landscape. I can't say I fully undersand what that means but every nook of the villa grounds was a pleasant surprise that left us in awe.

We strolled the winding, maze like footpaths past fountains and gorhous statues. The highlight of the gardens was the jaw-dropping , over the top waterfalls. We expected to see the elaborate musical fountain show we noted on our guide but we must have missed it in our explorations.

Our trip from Rome was already worth it at this point, but as though to leave no doubt, the sunset over the villa that evening was perfection. We were in such awe of our surrounding the attendant had to be ushered out to close up for the day. I still dont have the right word to described what it meant to walk thr grounds so I will stop trying and let the pictures tell the story of this must visit place in Italy. 

For more travel stories and inspiration. Check out the Wonderful Wednesday linkup hosted this week by Lauren on Location.