Ideas for a guided tour of Tivoli: the Sanctuary of Hercules Victor
With the arrival of summer it can be an interesting idea to organize a guided tour in the heart of Tivoli, among its wonderful places of interest: in particular, what we offer is a tour at the Sanctuary of Hercules Victor.
A monument erected in honor of the god protector of the ancient Tibur which, at the time, occupied a very large area at the foot of the city. Considered one of the most important centers of worship in Roman times, for about 500 years it has been the seat of religious worship and shows.
It took about 10 years to complete the construction of the architectural complex as it was necessary to dig a covered path under the sanctuary so as to pass the ancient Via Tecta. A magnificent work whose purpose, not surprisingly, was also to impress spectacularly speaking those who arrived in Tivoli from Rome.
Guided visits to the Sanctuary of Hercules Victor
Visits with a tour guide at the Sanctuary of Hercules Victor are very popular in Tivoli. The tour in based on a reconnaissance of the works concerning the sanctuary and which are present in the premises of the Museum of the City of Tivoli.
You will then go to visit the inside of the sanctuary, with particular regard to the ground floor of the Antiquarium. The tour will obviously focus on the myth of Hercules, talking about the role and the sanctuary itself in the social system of ancient Tibur, both from a commercial and an administrative point of view.
The history of the sanctuary is closely intertwined with that of Ottaviano Augusto and with Marco Antonio; a visit with a Tivoli tourist guide can be the perfect opportunity to enter these historical details directly.
Tour of the Sanctuary of Hercules Victor
The name of the sanctuary derives from the fact that in the past, inside the building was the statue of the god Hercules. Until the mid-1900’s, the area was occupied by a paper mill, while during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was destined for industrial use.
The tours of the Sanctuary of Hercules Victor also take place on request, with personalized arrangements, and can be easily combined with guided tours to Villa d’Este or Hadrian’s Villa, two other jewels of Tivoli among the most popular tourists from around the world.
The admission ticket to the Sanctuary of Hercules Victor can also be purchased directly at the ticket office of Hadrian’s Villa, thus including admission to the villa of the Emperor Hadrian on the same day.
Suggestive places of Tivoli to visit
Visiting Tivoli can be extremely rewarding for lovers of architecture, art, history, nature and so forth. A pearl located a few kilometers from Rome and that, not surprisingly, is recommended by all tour guides in addition to a visit to the Eternal City.
An incredible concentration of places and spaces to visit in a relatively limited area. Tivoli is the city of churches; they are many and all worthy of note. As well as the Roman temples or aqueducts, still present. And then Mount Catillo, the natural reserve of the place and the green reserve of the old Tibur; the baths; the historical center; the three wonderful villas, real flagship of this town.
So many fabulous scenarios that create the embarrassment of the choice for those who go to Tivoli for a guided tour.
Secret places of Tivoli
But beyond the known places there are many aspects of Tivoli to be seized and places to visit, some of which are not as famous as Villa d’Este or Villa Adriana. Think of the church of Santo Stefano ai Ferri, which for some scholars was the seat of the Templars in the Middle Ages.
And again, the Temple of Tosse, which rises on the Tiburtina rising from the Strada degli Orti towards the historic center of Tivoli. It is a building of the imperial era built probability between the third and fourth centuries d.C is characterized by a circular plant. The building has a cylindrical shape on the top of which a large central eye opens up, a bit like the Pantheon of Rome.
Today it is still not clear what was the destination of this temple; it was probably used as a sepulcher or a nymphaeum; alternatively, scholars thought that it was also used as a monumental atrium.
What is certain is that in the Middle Ages it became a church with the name of Santa Maria di Porta Scura or del Passo to be later abandoned in the late Renaissance. Today, the building is private property.
The Lucano Bridge
A bridge that contains a piece of history because it is here that, in about 1150, Federico Barbarossa and Pope Adriano met, with the people of Tivoli deployed with the first which granted to Tibur people the possibility of affixing the emblem of Tivoli the Imperial Eagle.
The Ponte Lucano was also one of the most represented by the artists who came to Tivoli for the famous Grand Tour. It stands on the ancient Via Tiburtina, at the height of Villa Adriana. On the left shore of the river right at the bridge there is the Tomba dei Plautii, a marvellous mausoleum built at the time of Emperor Augustus.
In the Middle Ages the monumental sepulcher was transformed into a control tower to watch over the surrounding areas, above Ponte Lucano. This historic bridge was destroyed during the Gothic wars, in the 6th century AD, and rebuilt in the Middle Ages.
Tivoli’s Carnival: an ancient tradition
Tivoli’s Carnival is a tradition that has its origins in ancient times. It was at the end of the 16th century, precisely in conjunction with the advent in Tivoli of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este who commissioned Villa D’Este in order to make it his home.
In those times the ancient Tibur was a small town with a peasant vocation: thanks to the arrival of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este in Tivoli, the carnival began to gain altitude. In conjunction with the Carnival period, the cardinal Ippolito began to invite several important personalities of the time, above all nobles, to make him spend the period of celebrations in Tivoli.
Which in fact had already been framed as a party during which the peasant families of Tivoli met to dance and spend moments of leisure.
The Carnival Floats in Tivoli
According with those ancient traditions in Tivoli began to spread the rite of parades of allegorical floats; it was to be precise shortly after the Unification of Italy, in 1861. We began to see figures worked optimally with papier-mâché and the public response was immediately evident.
In 1900, paradoxically, the carnival tradition in Tivoli experienced some setback due to contingent factors: the First World War, for example, and the subsequent political instability of the whole country.
In 1933, was created a committee to resume the festivities and allow the best outcome of the Tivoli carnival.
Carnival 2018 in Tivoli
The maximum splendour of the carnival of Tivoli is recorded between the 50s and 60s: a period of new blocking continued until the mid-70s when the Tiburtini Festival Central Committee was born to make the ancient traditions live in Tivoli.
On the streets of the city we returned to see the passage of the allegorical floats with imposing figures of papier mache; just like the past time. Tivoli’s carnival has such an ancient tradition to be mentioned in some ancient French prints.
Also for this year, 2018, the carnival of Tivoli will bring forward its tradition: a program that includes many events to fill the streets of the city with an atmosphere of festivities as in ancient times.
The Templars in Tivoli? The church of Santo Stefano ai Ferri
In the heart of Tivoli there is a church, now deconsecrated, in which are visible some frescoes depicting armed knights. These are images very similar to those of many other European Templar churches. For this reason scholars thought, in the past, that in the Middle Ages the church of Santo Stefano ai Ferri could have been a starting point for knights heading to the Holy Land.
This thesis is supported by some scholars, including Vincenzo Pacifici born in Tivoli, historian and Italian teacher. According to Pacifici and other scholars, the theory have solid foundations even if in practice it has never been proved with a proof that could make the theory true: that is, the rose with four petals, from which the Templar cross derives, which is present in all the Templar churches.
The Templars’ places in Italy
The Templars were the mythical warrior monks whose order was founded in 1118 by the will of St. Bernard of Clairvaux at the end of the first Crusade. The Order of Templars was born to defend the pilgrims, who travelled along the holy roads to Jerusalem, from the infidels.
The Templars were the arm of the Church around which were born several legends, some of which related to the Holy Grail. There are several places in Italy that are listed as potential sites of the Knights Templars in the Middle Ages: the Castle of the Rotta in Moncalieri, the Caves of Osimo in Ancona, the Castle of the Magione di Poggibonsi, Siena.
The church of Santo Stefano ai Ferri of Tivoli
Among the different places as mentioned, someone claims that there was also the church of Santo Stefano ai Ferri, for long time deconsecrated. The church initially had a single nave, a portico and a bell tower. Starting in the fourteenth century, some works which brought substantial changes.
After the Middle Ages, the church was further modified, trying to conceal its initial appearance; for several decades the church of Santo Stefano ai Ferri of Tivoli underwent a decline and towards the middle of 1600 it lost the title of parish.
A closure to the cult led the building to rise to various roles, as a place of civil housing, theater, barn, artisan workshop, even barn and blacksmith. It was with World War II that the wooden roof covering was finally destroyed.
The Jewish ghetto of Tivoli: stories of the past
Not everyone knows that in Tivoli, in the old Tibur, the town a few kilometers from Rome, in the past there was a Jewish ghetto. Exactly as in large centers, Tivoli houses a ghetto among the most beautiful and visited in the world, it was established in 1555 by Pope Paul IV.
If in the capital, the ghetto, whose function was to forcibly collect Jews residing in Rome until 1848, is still visible in its wonder, in Tivoli the ghetto has not existed for some time. Yet the testimonies tell us about a past in which it was present; to be precise, until at least the mid-nineteenth century. Let’s see more precisely the history of the Jewish ghetto in Tivoli.
History of the ghetto in Tivoli
In these parts the ghetto existed starting from 1500 even before the capital’s one, until the mid-nineteenth century. Today, as mentioned, it no longer exists but there are still some visible traces: two gates located respectively under the medieval portico on Piazza Palatina, at the beginning of the Vicolo dei Granai; and at the end of the same lane of the Granaries on Via Palatina, where today the Tivoli post office stands.
In the past, in this area there was also a synagogue, a place of worship for the Jewish religion, which was destroyed over the years. To better understand the dynamics that led to the disappearance of the Jewish ghetto in the old Tibur, one must necessarily start from the history of the Jews in Tivoli.
The Jewish community in Tivoli
The first traces of this presence are attributable around 1300. In those times the Jews in Tivoli were mainly dedicated to medicine. Starting from the fifteenth century the presence went to consolidate more and more.
It was also present in the city a cemetery in Magnano, to be precise just a few kilometers from the city center along the Via Tiburtina today. The closure of the Jewish ghetto in Tivoli is to be traced back to 1555 because of the Papal bull. The area was bounded by two doors still visible today. The ghetto of Tivoli remained in force until 1847.
The Rocca Pia of Tivoli: the wonderful 15th century strongold
Among the many places to visit during a guided tour in Tivoli there is also the Rocca Pia: a structure that stands out in the heart of the town from its over 600 years of history.
Built in the fifteenth century, it is an imposing stronghold, a real artistic jewel set in the city of Tivoli. The Rocca Pia rises in the exact place where the castle of Callisto of Borgia once stood. The construction of the fortress dates back to 1461 and was founded by the will of Pope Pius II Piccolomini, not by chance bears his name.
The works to complete the fortress were carried out by the Florentine architects Varrone and Niccolò and lasted a whole year.
A quadrangular structure with 4 circular towers
Even today the Rocca Pia is the historical symbol of Tivoli, a few steps from the central Piazza Garibaldi and the sculpture of Arnoldo Pomodoro. So right in the historic center of Tivoli. The purpose of the fortress was to control the city from above and avoid any insurrections of the people.
It has a quadrangular structure, therefore with 4 circular towers, the highest of which reaches 36 meters. In the Risorgimento period the Rocca Pia was used as a mandamental prison and remained so until 1960.
The inscription “Grata bonis, invisa malis, inimica superbis sum tibi Tibure: enim sic Pius instituit” which means “Here I am, is here for you, oh Tivoli, well seen by the good, frowned upon by the wicked, enemy to the proud: as Pio wanted “.
The Rocca Pia today
The building was built in tuff and over the years has undergone several restoration works. In the immediate vicinity of the stronghold is possible to see the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheater that emerged in 1948: it is the amphitheater of Bleso.
The fortress for some years has been closed to visitors; today it is possible to visit some spaces that are used specifically for cultural activities. The interiors of the castle in fact do not present particular points of interest for visitors as they have also been widely stripped over the years. The building is currently awaiting a new use destination.
What to see in Tivoli: The Gothic House
A house dating back to the late Middle Ages, precisely to the thirteenth century; a structure made entirely of tuff and travertine and overlooking Via Campitelli. Walking along this road you can not be dazzled by this wonderful structure.
The entrance to the gothic house can be reached via an external staircase embellished by battlements and an upper arch. Throughout the Gothic house of Tivoli spread over three distinct floors. In the past the ground floor was used as a shop; the intermediate level, the first, could be reached by an external staircase; while the second and last floor was reached by internal staircase.
An imposing building from an aesthetic point of view enriched by stylistic elements and equipment such as the splendid fountain designed specifically to resume the style of Villa d’Este.
One of the most evocative buildings of Tivoli
In Tivoli, the Gothic house is one of the most striking buildings in the city. Each element is scrupulously decorated like the re-use column and the ornamental arches; the façade is extremely simple with three holes and a proffer, a typical element of medieval civil architecture. All this tends to accentuate the intentionally sought asymmetry.
It is important to highlight that the Gothic house is part of a series of houses built during the Middle Ages and was built over several years: the beginning of the works is to be dated back to the 12th and 13th centuries; in the two following centuries the building was enriched by the proffer connected to a single-step staircase with steps.
The magnificent profferlo of the house
To complete the building there is a brick kiosk that was originally frescoed on both sides: to date only one is left on which is depicted a Madonna with a Child. The element that stands out more than any other as mentioned, is the profferlo made of different types of walls and a classic granite column that probably originated from Hadrian’s Villa.
From the 15th and 16th centuries the Gothic house underwent other transformations. Also important are the fountains that are inspired by the gardens of Villa d’Este, perhaps the most famous monument of Tivoli known throughout the world for its water games.
Tivoli: the pathway to the three Villas
When Tivoli is mentioned with reference to tourism, thought immediately runs towards them, the three wonderful villas famous all over the world. Sites that differ profoundly from one another in history, tradition or epoch.
Villa d’Este is a masterpiece of the Renaissance, founded in 1500 by the will of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, descendant of the Borgia’s and to whom the best artists of the time worked; Hadrian’s Villa dates back over a thousand years before, in the 2nd century AD created by the will of Emperor Hadrian; Villa Gregoriana, a natural park recognized by Fai, the Fund for the Italian Environment, dating back to the first half of the nineteenth century by the will of Pope Gregory XVI.
Three sites with many stories to tell but all united by a common thread; not only virtual but also material.
The path that connects the three villas of Tivoli
There is in fact a path that unites the three villas; an evocative route to take while enjoying a breathtaking view. The road winds for over 6 kilometers in the nature through the Roman plain.
The path partially traces the ancient route crossed by the railroad tracks and in the 1800s connected Tivoli to the capital. A walk that was designed for tourists, keen to get to know alternative points of view of the city; but also for local citizens.
Along the way the presence of two separate rest areas where you can refreeze view the presence of picnic tables, fences and fountains.
How to take the path of the three villas
A sort of naturalistic pilgrimage in the marvellous plain that rises around Tivoli and which unites the three wonderful sites of universal interest. The path can be taken directly from the city center, just after the Giardini Garibaldi taking the Tiburtina road.
The way that in ancient times the peasants used to travel from the city center to the neighboring farmlands. Today the path has been used to act as a pedestrian link between the three villas of the city. A wonderful walk that can be travelled in about 1 hour and a half enjoying the surrounding landscape.
Tivoli in Roman times
Tivoli is a city on the outskirts of Rome whose charm lies also in a millenary history that has its roots in an era even earlier than Ancient Rome. Tibur was the name by which this town, today frequented by hordes of visitors and tour guides from all over the world, was known in ancient times.
Legend has it that it was founded by the Aboriginal people with the ritual of the sacred spring, following a migration during which the behavior of a guide animal was imitated. All with the aim of obtaining good wishes and indications on the path to follow.
It was the Latin poet Virgil who magnified the qualities of this city for the first time, calling it Tibur Superbum.
The struggles with Rome
It was from the V century BC. that Tivoli began to fight against the Italic population of the Volsci and then to rebel against the power of Rome. All to maintain their independence. In the long run it had the worst and was subdued by the capital of the Roman Empire and recognized as a town hall. During the wars against Hannibal Tivoli of sided on the side of Rome.
In the Roman era, many nobles came from here to build their villas: even today the remains of some of these are present and visible, just think of those of Orazio, Cassio, Publio Quintilio Varo and Manlio Vopisco. Destinations included in all the touristic tours of Tivoli.
As well as that time remain important traces of religious colleges including the Apollinari, Addrianali, Veriani, Arvali and Vestali.
The testimonies of Imperial Rome
But the most important remains if we talk about villas from that period are, of course, those of the spectacular villa of Emperor Hadrian; a sumptuous residence that became the seat of the eccentric Emperor and art lover. Even today one of the most visited places in Tivoli is considered UNESCO world heritage.
But Hadrian was not alone, although his presence is important precisely for the construction of the villa that bears his name. In the Republican period also the emperor Augustus stayed in Tivoli. In those years the city had a huge development from an urban and demographic point of view.
The Roman aqueducts of Tivoli
The majestic acqueducts are called the ‘water giants’ and are still visible in most of their ancient structure in the territory of Tivoli and its surroundings. By now they are considered a kind of monuments, actually since the nineteenth century when several famous painters made it a favorite subject for their paintings.
Today the tiburtina campaign is scattered with these water giants, one of the favorite destinations for those who make a guided tour of Tivoli. Archeological beauties that have managed to survive the process of wild urbanization that has characterized a good part of the suburban area of Rome. Not Tivoli, which with its natural wonders is a sort of oasis just a few kilometers from the chaos of the capital.
Sophisticated buildings witnessing to a great Empire
Monuments full of history, suitable to be visited by the many students who go to Tivoli for educational visits and who can see with their own eyes what they study on the books at school. Because the Roman aqueducts are a living testimony of the Empire that was: extremely sophisticated buildings, with bridges and arches, which for over a thousand years, until the fall of the Empire, had no equal in terms of quality and technology.
Thanks to the isolation of these places, many traces of the past here in Tivoli have been preserved in good condition; and among these must be included the Roman aqueducts dating back to the era of the Empire.
In particular here, in the ancient Tibur, there are the remains of four Roman aqueducts that once stood on the Empolitana road, before entering Tivoli.
The four main Tivoli aqueducts
This is the Anio Vetus aqueduct dating back to 272 BC .; of Aqua Marcia dating back to 44 BC. of the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus, both built by Emperor Claudius between 41 and 54 AD. And the presence of these four aqueducts favored, in the Imperial era, the construction in Tivoli of magnificent villas of important Roman characters.
The Anio Novus is located near the bridge and crosses the ditch thanks to a series of impressive arches still visible today. In medieval times this aqueduct was used for defensive purposes and a tower was built on it.
Not far from here you can admire the remains of the Aqua Marcia bridge, whose dimensions are more limited; It was built by the Roman Senate in 146 B.C. by the Pretore Q. Marco Re from whom he took the name.
The Acqua Claudia aqueduct was started by Caligola and ended in 54 AD. from the Emperor Claudius. Today there are several remains that testify to its importance. The Anio Vetus took this name after the Anio Novus (vetus, from the old Latin) was built. Its edification is due to the censors Manio Curio and Flavio Flacco.
The Renaissance Grand Tour in the places of Tivoli
With the term Grand Tour we are going to indicate that long journey made in continental Europe during the Renaissance period by young people belonging to the highest aristocracy. The goal of the trip was to improve their knowledge by coming into contact with the most beautiful places on the continent.
The tour could last from a few weeks to several months and was intended to touch all the cities of the old continent considered more representative in terms of beauty to offer. A journey of education, for educational purposes whose goal was to perfect their cultural sphere.
It is no coincidence that the period in which this new path is born is the Renaissance, a period of new flowering of the arts, culture and knowledge.
Travelling for Europe in search of refinement
It was above all the scions of the aristocratic houses of all Europe, the most affluent subjects, to undertake this journey. The refinement of one’s sphere arose from confrontation: in essence, coming into contact with other realities led to inner growth.
It is obvious, in the old continent, Renaissance Italy became one of the most popular destinations for travellers from all over the world. We no longer speak of typical itineraries of the Middle Ages, but Italy was in full rebirth, of the so-called one hundred cities, with a dense urban plot that thanks to its art became a favorite destination for a cultural pilgrimage.
Tivoli and the grand tour
Among the Italian wonders, among the places to be visited for young people belonging to the aristocracy in search of new cultural knowledge, there was also the city of Tivoli. The old Tibur was inserted from the seventeenth century on a tour of the most beautiful places on the Continent.
And on the other hand, Tivoli was often a source of inspiration for poets, writers, musicians and artists in the past centuries.
Villa Gregoriana, symbol of the Romantic culture; the marvellous Villa d’Este, the Renaissance pearl; and again Villa Adriana, the historical residence of Emperor Hadrian and expression of an Ancient Rome in the heart of Tivoli.
Many places that became a symbol on a European level, a must for all those aristocratic travellers who made a trip toward places full of beauty in those years with the sole purpose of enriching their knowledge.
Visit to the Roman temples in Tivoli
Visit Tivoli and get lost among its many scenic and architectural beauties; a series of places that must be visited, condensed into a reality in a so restricted territory. Not just the villas, three famous all over the world and recognized by Unesco and Fai; also churches (so many in Tivoli) and Roman temples.
Routes of breathtaking beauty that make the ancient Tibur one of the most popular tourist destinations near the majestic Rome. About the Roman temples, Tivoli is a precious casket which encase many of them. Who appreciate this kind of classic art will be excited to visit all of them.
The temples in Tivoli are located in different parts of the city, so it is good to visit them in a guided tour in order to embark on a predefined path. The best known of the temples is probably the temple of Vesta.
The temple of Vesta
It is one of the most portrayed temples by Italian and foreign painters since the eighteenth century and considered, today, to all intents and purposes a symbol of the city of Tibur. The temple is located on the top of the ancient acropolis, embedded on a rocky spur not far from the temple of Sibilla.
Together the two buildings dominate the valley below where also Villa Gregoriana stands. The temple of Vesta was built in the full Roman Republic and has a round plan. Initially formed by 18 Corinthian columns, today only 10 remain.
The temple was dedicated to Tiburno, the mythical founder of the city of Tivoli; others argue that it was erected to honor the patron god of the city, Hercules, or for the protectress of the sacred fire, Vesta, whose cult was deeply felt in ancient Tibur.
The other temples
In the proximity of the temple of Vesta is possible to view the remains of the Sibyl temple; a building dated 2nd century and built on an artificial substructure. It is not sure about the deity to which it is dedicated, obviously as the name suggests, probably it was erected in honour of Sibyl.
The Sibyl Tiburtina has gone down in history as one of the most famous sibyls, endowed with prophetic powers and venerated as a goddess in Tivoli.
Also the Sanctuary of Hercules Victor takes part to the triptych of the temples. It is the largest and most famous Roman sanctuary of the Republican era that has been preserved and for which just recently a restoration was established to bring it back its splendour. One of the most suggestive places to see when you are in Tivoli for a guided tour.
Tivoli’s Churches; a reality that must be known
Tivoli is also known as ‘La Città delle Chiese’; here there are not only Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa. You can take a guided tour of the place by making a real tour of the many churches present.
By moving between squares and historic streets, towers and doors present in the part of the old city. Get lost in the alleys immersed in ancient times. Admire the historic center and the presence of noble palaces with travertine or marble tiles depicting monograms of San Bernardino da Siena.
Scattered around the city there are many Roman temples a faithful expression of a past. As in the case of the temple of Vesta, temple of the Sibyl, temple of Tosse, Sanctuary of Hercules Victor, Sanctuary of the Bona Dea.
Many points of interest for every taste and every kind: but if you are passionate about history, art and religious tourism the churches of Tivoli that must be absolutely visited.
The most important churches in the city
During a guided tour of Tivoli, it is possible to complete an itinerary that touches the most important churches of the city: among these are San Silvestro, San Pietro alla Carità, the Cathedral, Santa Maria Maggiore.
To take a tour of the churches you can start from Piazza Garibaldi, then continue in the direction of Piazza Trento where the church of Santa Maria Maggiore is. The building dates back to around 468, built at the behest of Pope Simplicius on the remains of a Roman villa. It is only in the twelfth century that it was enlarged and transformed. The church is located in the immediate vicinity of Villa d’Este.
Walking on a narrow alley behind the church, we arrive at a square where stands the church of the Annunciation: built on the ruins of the villa of Metello by the Confraternity of the Annunciation, it is set in one of the most evocative places of the historic center.
The path of the churches
Continuing along the promenade we arrive at Piazza Campitelli with its magnificent church of San Pietro alla Carità. Also this built in the twelfth century and also in this case on the ruins of a previous Roman historical building. The building is completed by the presence of a square bell tower.
Continuing along the path of the churches we arrive at the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, built in the fifth century above the Roman forum. In the seventeenth century it was entirely rebuilt in Baroque style by Cardinal Giulio Roma and today presents a façade formed by three arches.
Inside the church it is possible to admire the Trittico del Salvatore, a 12th century painting on wood attributed to the Benedictine monks of Farfa.
Tivoli’s Baths: between wellness and history
They are among the most important sulphurous waters of Europe: Albule waters, known since the times of imperial Rome for their enormous therapeutic virtues and defined by Pliny the Elder “Acque Santissime”.
It was the Roman naturalist writer who lived a few years after the birth of Christ to talk about the benefits of these sulphurous waters in a book of his “Historiae”: here he remembers how the soldiers wounded in war were brought near the sources of these waters to be cured.
A tradition that remained alive even in the Renaissance period when Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, appointed Governor of the city, arrived in Tivoli. He commissioned the creation of the Bagni Vecchi inside the splendid Villa d’Este, built by his will.
The decision was born because of his poor health, for this reason he decided to resort to the therapeutic effects of these waters.
Water which can cure various diseases
It was in the nineteenth century that these waters Albule were officially recognized by medicine with the treatise “Reasoning of mineral baths at Tivoli”. In that document it was established that the waters of the baths of Tivoli could cure diseases of the skin, mood, urinary and respiratory tract and intestines.
Even today in the area of Tivoli Terme there are those baths of Albule waters: their composition is the result of the gaseous emulsion created by the process between carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide. From this process derives the name of Albule that indicates the whitish color that they take on following the gasification.
The Albule waters are sulphureous, hypothermal and are generated by two distinct lakes north of the Via Tiburtina: Regina and Colonnelle, springs with a flow of three thousand liters per second.
Sulfur as a healing element
The Albule waters of Tivoli have a constant temperature of 23 degrees throughout the year. The presence of sulphur gives the healing effects. It is a natural antibacterial agent with anti-inflammatory effects. It is no coincidence that when you approach the area you feel an intense sulphurous smell.
The Baths of Tivoli are today a reference point for lovers of spas throughout Europe: the new spa was built by the will of Pope Pius IX with the intent to offer the local population a functional and excellent site.
Today the spa complex has been renovated and can offer concrete answers for every type of therapeutic need; it is for wellness or simple relaxation. There are on the site five large pools constantly fed by mineral sulphurous waters with continuous exchange. Another site that makes the city of Tivoli one of the most popular places for tourists from all over the world.