Villa d'Este, a 500 years old water park

Villa d'Este, a 500 years old water park

2 minutes to read

As well as many other Italian masterpieces, even this one owes its existence to the wealth and power of a family, the Este family in this case, one of the most relevant in Medieval Italy. The villa was commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, grandson of the Pope Alexander VI. As you may understand nothing was too much for this kind of family

Building up such a huge and complex residence was not a piece of cake though. Demolition of houses, public buildings and roads was needed just to prepare the construction site. Between 1563 and 1565, a huge amount of earth was excavated and used to construct new terraces; arcades, grottos, niches, and nymphaeums were constructed. The nearby river Aniene was diverted to furnish water for the complex system of pools, water jets, channels, fountains, cascades and water games.  

The result of this incredible amount of work is truly breath-taking. The internal spaces and rooms are filled with colourful and bright frescos and the gardens outside are an extraordinary example of the so called “Italian style”.  

Surely the great number of fountains of this villa and their unique style are what inspire tourists and visitors to get here. And these are absolutely good reasons! Just the sight of Le Cento Fontane (the Hundred Fountains), Fontana di Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune), and Fontana dell’Organo (Water Organ Fountain) makes the visit here worth it.  The Organ Fountain deserves a little explanation: while the water streams and jets the special hydraulic system creates a sound similar to an organ’s, therefore the name.  

The author

Federico Spadoni

Federico Spadoni

I am Federico, I was born and raised in Italy. Sport and news fanatic and active volunteer. I am currently living in Athens, Greece. I write about the central parts of Italy.

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