Walking around Hadrian's Villa is like walking around in a dream. It's probably the most picturesque place I have ever been. It kills me that we didn't have a better camera all those years ago when we were here and these photos hardly do it the justice it deserves. Luckily, the memory of it's beauty is burned in my mind and so is the fluttery feeling in my stomach I had being in this place I had wanted to be in for so long. I remember just thinking, I can't believe I'm really here. That feeling that comes from finally crossing something off your life list that you weren't sure you'd ever get to do. Magical, is the word, I think.
While we were in Tivoli we also made time to see Villa D'Este which is very near to Hadrian's Villa. If fact, in the 16th century after Hadrian's Villa had fallen into disrepair a lot of it's marble and statues were taken to help build Villa D'Este. It's another ethereal place; fountains and gardens straight from a fairy tale and ceilings covered in still vibrant frescos that helped to take a little of the sting away from missing the Sistine chapel. It was also the most perfectly sweet ending to our time in Rome and the first taste of all the beauty that was still to come.