Fountain of Neptune from above.

One of the highlights of our summer travel was our visit to Tivoli, the amusement park in Copenhagen. At the time, we noted how lovely the layout of the park is, and how it was filled with fountains and other decorative elements.

Upon moving to Rome, we kept hearing about a Tivoli in the hills outside the city. Perhaps because of its location up above the city, the town of Tivoli was the home of several noteworthy villas. Our neighbor back home, Arne, who is a professor of landscape architecture, urged us to visit Villa d’Este. The gardens are included on the UNESCO world heritage list, and for good reason!

There are 100 little fountains in this installation.

To get there, we took the subway to the end of the line, and then the provincial bus line wending into the foothills. The villa itself is a perfectly nice villa. But the gardens!

Life imitates art.

In particular, Villa d’Este is known for its waterworks. There are over 500 fountains in the gardens at the villa! Back in the 16th Century, the owner of the villa diverted a river (!) in order to supply his fountains with water. They are all run solely by gravity, and they are fantastic. There is a water organ, fountains of Neptune that run 3 stories high, and other big waterworks.My favorites, though, were all the little fountains – funny faces and animals spouting water from their mouths. It was lovely, and exceptionally entertaining.

Now the name of the Tivoli in Copenhagen makes much more sense!