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  Cornell University

Cornell in Rome

College of Architecture, Art and Planning

Villa d’ Este in Tivoli

 

My favorite spot in the gardens

I could lay here for hours. Listening to the water fall into the narrow pool beside me. Feeling the cool stone against my skin and the speckles of water splash against my side. The sun’s heat coats my back, and I barely notice the tourists strolling by me. I am overwhelmed by my senses as the garden lulls me into pure content. A picture can’t capture the experience of weaving through the pathways and discovering something breathtaking at every turn… getting lost in the splendor of it all. Every inch and detail of this villa was designed to be what lies before me, and yet at the same time, the garden doesn’t feel like it has been constructed by man. It’s like some ancient secret that humanity has stumbled upon. The walls of the villa are unassuming from the street and blend in with the stone of the historical surroundings, but the villa opens its great mouth to a hidden oasis. A place where you almost feel guilty for taking pictures instead of just organically becoming absorbed in your surroundings. I am listening to the water rushing, feeling the fresh air against my skin, smelling the pine, seeing lushness all around me, and tasting the chilled water from the fountain. I am drifting to sleep. Suddenly, a woman reprimands me for laying along the fountain’s edge. Startled and embarrassed, I sit up and my senses snap. The sound of chatty tourists overcomes the hush of the fountains and the frequent passers-by strip away the seclusion and security I once felt. I don’t want to leave. I imagine time unfolding around me… the feeling of laying alone on the stone wall consumes me…wishing  I could just melt into the coolness once again, I fall slowly and deeply into my own abyss.

Natalie overlooking the great view
Natalie overlooking the great view
Behind the largest fountain
Behind the largest fountain
One of the many great doors of the villa
One of the many great doors of the villa

 

Arnold and Takuma taking photos
Arnold and Takuma taking photos
Tim, Alex, and Braydn at the top balcony
Tim, Alex, and Braydn at the top balcony
Leading to the gardens
Leading to the gardens
Looking down the main axis towards the original entrance
Looking down the main axis towards the original entrance

 

Tivoli is "gorges" just like Ithaca
Tivoli is “gorges” just like Ithaca
One of the great views in Tivoli
One of the great views in Tivoli. Tivoli is only an hour from Rome. You can even see the tallest buildings of Rome from some of the views.

 

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