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.
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).