I found my new home in November 2007. It was a quaint little spot; a few bedrooms, a library, a chapel. Oh yes, it would suit my needs just fine.
Tucked at the top of the hill town of Tivoli, just a short bus ride outside of Rome, sits the UNESCO world heritage site Villa d’Este. This brilliant example of Italian renaissance architecture and garden design was once home to Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, who had been appointed the governor of Tivoli by Pope Julius III.
The cardinal renovated the original structure in the 1500s. He did a wonderful job of it. I really don’t think there is anything I would have changed. Sure the use of modern-day plumbing definitely perked up the place, but other than that, it was ready for me to move in.
No one could have convinced me to leave. I was in love.
If push came to shove I really didn’t even need the villa, although that was lovely and I would certainly take it. What captivated me were the gardens.
The use of water throughout the landscape filled me with a sense of peace. Maybe it was all that white noise created by the rushing waters coming from the fountains; I do sleep better with a sound machine on.
Even in November the gardens were lush and bursting with color. I could just imagine it covered with snow (did they even get snow?) and in full bloom each summer.
Just think of the garden parties you could have in a space like this. Invited guests might get lost and disappear for days.
The world (or the Italian people and UNESCO for that matter) may not be ready to let me own a villa, but if I was ever offered Villa d’Este you can bet I would pack up the family and move in the next day.