I was in Rome over the bank holiday period. Saw the museums and Sistine Chappell . It was hot humid and crowded but worth it. I shudder to think how it will be in the height of season. Although I had been to Rome once before I had missed out seeing the Vatican City because I had a stomach bug. So decided to go again. I also visited Tivoli where Hadrian's villa and villa D'est are situated. It was good to be away from the crowds. Hadrian's villa was constructed at the foot of the Tiber river. Now it is a charming mix of ruins and natural landscape . It is difficult to imagine the scope of the original Villa. Only one fifth of the three hundred hectares that originally occupied the site are visible today. 300 masterpieces have so far been recovered and displayed in museums and collections all over the world. Only the bare frame of the villa remains today but one can see glimpses of the past grandeur and superb architecture of the villa and imagine what it would have been like in its hey day.
It was built by cardinal of Ferrara. Since he was accustomed to pomp and luxury he decided to build this villa. It was built very rapidly even by today's standards . Inspite of his aspirations to the papacy he never became a pope.
The garden of the villa I found absolutely amazing. It has more than 400 fountains and jets. Every imaginable nook and corner of the garden has a fountain. A few were not working and I am not sure if they had been shut or not in working order but imagine so many fountains in a confined space! Just so amazing and there were fountains inside the villa as well which were not turned on and I am guessing this must be to preserve the beautiful frescos on the ceiling and walls. If you have not visited Rome and intend to do so don't miss out visiting these two sites.