One of the world’s most remarkable and comprehensive illustrations of refined Renaissance culture is the garden at the Villa d’Este. It is a true water garden, a unique example of a 16th-century Italian giardino dell’arte, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also a model for and an inspiration for the creation of many other European gardens.
The garden is designed to encourage exploration, inspire the imagination, and surprise you. It includes fountains, grottoes, and pathways that wind around the villa and through the gardens. It’s filled with plants, flowers, and statues. There are areas where you can sit and relax, or take a stroll and enjoy the scenery. And there are a number of places to stop for a drink or a meal.
You’ll want to give yourself at least two to three hours to explore the whole garden and the surrounding forest. It’s a good idea to visit on a weekday, when there are fewer people and the temperatures are comfortable.
When you arrive at the entrance to the gardens, be sure to show your smartphone ticket so that you can enter during the first available timeslot. It’s a good idea to book your tickets online in advance, so that you don’t have to wait to enter. You can do that by selecting the dates and times that work best for you on the booking page. The tickets will be emailed to you right after you pay, and they’re valid for entry on the day that you choose.