Of course Manlio Vopisco understood something of suggestion when he decided to build his own house here, attached to the steep wall of Aniene river valley, just below the Roman temples that look out its cleft, placing the natural scenery of forests and caves in the architectural! Unfortunately nature, here dominating everything, has then recovered its role, and of the beautiful Roman villa nothing but ruins are nowadays left. The scenario, however, is still there: forest, waterfalls, caves and tunnels, steep cliffs overhanging the omnipresence of water roar, sounding like lots of shouting, a continuous talk among the ghosts of this place. And here it is full of ghosts, no doubt.

Not by chance this place was called the Valley of Hell and it turned fascinating for all travellers of the Romantic era, as well as a must for tourists on the Grand Tour, because here, in Tivoli, majestic landscape (created by a river which rises in the mountains and regularly swells during the rainy seasons finding its own funnel right here), art, ancient architecture and craftsmanship, spirituality and myth get to uniquely combine. This set has inspired so many artists and poets, who gave witness of it in their paintings and texts. Hackert, Van Wittel, Piranesi, Turner and Ingres, Herder and Goethe – to name just a few of the best known. Goethe immortalized his visit here on his Viaggio in Italia with these words: I was in Tivoli, where I admired one of the highest visions offered by nature. Those waterfalls, along with the ruins around the whole of the landscape, are among the things whose knowledge makes us deeply richer inside.

Today this famous place has become a park open to the public, enjoyable by everyone, thanks to the work recovery carried out by FAI. But it is not “just” a park: it is a set of human interventions attempting to calm nature down by venerating it (as evidenced by the temples) and to tame it. The last and ultimate intervention that changed the fate of both Tivoli and the park was by Pope Gregory XVI, who in the first half of the nineteenth century decided to save the town of Tivoli from the destructive floods of river Aniene, allowing a work of top hydraulic engineering, which diverts the river path causing it to flood into the large park waterfall – park meant as landscape architecture that this Pope had simultaneously created in the valley. So was Villa Gregoriana Park born, a place full of history and memories, which today lets us safely enjoy the scenery.

Although spaces are almost exclusively outdoors, Villa Gregoriana Park offers a wealth of activities related to the Mice industry: the team-building with the gardeners of the park (all tree climbers by the way) is always in great demand and very funny, and the elegant Visitors’ Centre, designed by Gae Aulenti, is ideal for meetings, presentations and receptions.

To those choosing this romantic park for their wedding, the Municipality of Tivoli gives the chance to celebrate the civil ceremony among Villa Gregoriana’s Roman ruins. Three places are dedicated to the ceremony, all of them very evocative: the viewpoint of the great waterfall, the ruins of the Villa of Manlio Vopisco and the magnificent terrace of Tiburtina Acropolis, with Roman temples dedicated to both Sibilla Albunea and Tiburno looking over the valley.

Collaborations with restaurateurs and trusted caterers guarantee impeccable service.

The park can be visited every day. Many events for families, for the curious and for art and nature lovers are provided on weekends.

Info and contacts:
Parco Villa Gregoriana
Largo Sant’Angelo
Tivoli, Roma
Tel.0774 332650
E-mail: faigregoriana@fondoambiente.it




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