The Building

The Building , adapted to the pre-existing friary, was given a very sober façade. The architecture of the palace is very simple: a long main body of three storeys, marked by bands, rows of windows, and side pavilions that barely jut out. This uniform facade is interrupted by an elegant loggia in the middle, with two levels and stair ramps, built by Raffaello da Firenze and Biasioto (1566–67). The lower level is decorated with the Fountain of Leda.
The precious furniture and antique statues from the Cardinal’s collection were dispersed but the rooms still have much of their magnificent painted decoration, the work of several studios of painters and stucco artists, under the supervision of Federico Zuccari, Girolamo Muziano, Livio Agresti, and Cesare Nebbia.
The main rooms of the villa are arranged in rows on two floors and open on to the garden.

Ingrandisce foto Palazzo d'Este

The lofty floor (or old apartment) was used for the Cardinal’s private rooms . It is composed by about ten rooms, whose vaults were frescoed by Livio Agresti and his School. The paintings, framed by wide stucco cornices, in the
Cardinal’s apartment (drawing room, antechamber, bedroom) were painted by Livio Agresti around 1568 and are based on the central theme of the victory of virtue over vice.

The apartment of the Cardinal is on the same level as the courtyard and the reception rooms, linked togheter at the back by a long corridor called the “Manica Lunga”. From the central room, or throne room, it is possible to go to the loggia and admire the breathtaking view. The ceiling is divided in four parts, reproducing two views of the Aniene river, the “Tosse” temple and the little Vesta temple.

Ingrandisce foto The private chapel

At the end of the floor, you can visit the little and lovely Chapel, a small rectangular area painted by Federico Zuccari between 1568 and 1572 with the considerable expense of over two hundred ecus. The decoration consists of large figures of prophets and sibyls in alcoves, surmounted by monochrome panels depicting the life of the Virgin and the Coronation on the ceiling. Above the altar is the copy of the Madonna della Ghiara (realised in Reggio Emilia by Giovanni Bianchi in 1573 on a drawing by Lelio Orsi and renowned thanks to a miraculous event in 1596). We know that Ippolito II d'Este commissioned a painting of the Assumption, initially from livio Agresti in 1568 and later in 1570 from Giovanni de' Vecchi. This painting remained above tha altar until 1771. In addition, the Chapel is decorated with fine 18th century stucco work.

The painted decoration of the reception rooms on the ground floor is unusual, with imitations of various materials (marble, fabrics, etc), optical illusions to make the rooms seem bigger, false windows and doors, prospects and landscapes, and scenes from classical mythology (the Hercules Salon and the Tibur Salon) or the Bible (the Moses Salon and the Noah Salon).
The ground floor (or Noble apartment) constitutes the most relevant part of the building, with its nine halls and banqueting-rooms, because of Muziano’s and Zuccari’s frescoes. Here you can also admire the two Tiburtine statues, made by Cesare Nebbia, witnessing the desire of exalting the historical events linked to the foundation of Tivoli and to the myths connected to this town. The frescoes in the prima Sala (First Hall) are dedicated to the founding and construction of the town, and are attributed to Cesare Nebbia and his pupils (1569).


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Con il patrocinio del Comune di Tivoli, Assessorato al Turismo

Patrocinio Comune di Tivoli

Assessorato al Turismo