There are great quarries of travertine in Tivoli but the most famous is the "Cava del Barco", the most important ancient quarry of Tivoli and the largest one used by Romans for the buildings of ancient Rome.
It's located near the Tivoli Terme railways station on the Roma-Pescara line.
Nowadays on some blocks are clearly visible the marks left by tools used for the extraction, as the roman tool "Bipennis" (an axe), by the "Quadratarii", the men employed to extract the blocks of travertine.
In 1583 Pope Paul III, to make easier the trasportation of blocks of travertine from the quarries of Tivoli to Roma, ordered to clean up the Aniene's river bed. So, from this quarry, the famous architect Bernini derived the stone for the colonnade and gate of St Peter's Basilica. In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este (the builder of Villa d'Este) use the "Cava del Barco" to made a hunting-park. Nowadays you can see his rural home.
An impressive complex of buildings which almost looks as if it is one with the surrounding rock...
Patrocinio Comune di Tivoli
Assessorato al Turismo