Tivoli’s Villa d’Este: a Renaissance Garden with Liz Brewster

Tivoli’s Villa d’Este: a Renaissance Garden with Liz Brewster


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In 16th century Rome, an invitation to visit the rich and powerful Governor of Tivoli, Cardinal Ippolito II D’Este was an opportunity that nobody would have turned down. It was a chance to see one of the most famous, admired and imitated private gardens of Europe. A sumptuous terraced garden of plants, flowers, rare citrus trees, spectacular fountains, hundreds of water jets, cascades, bubbling canals, water “tricks”, mazes, caves, belvederes with sweeping views of the countryside, created to delight the eye and astonish the senses was often where the Cardinal entertained his guests. Led by a local architect, this conversation will explore the gardens and the intriguing context behind them.

After losing his bid for papacy in the 1550 conclave, Cardinal D’Este was “exiled” by his rival, the new pope Julius III to govern the ancient town of Tivoli, 34 kilometers west of Rome. He set to work expanding and remodeling the old governor’s quarters to make it a worthy residence for a man of his high political and social status.

Pirro Ligorio, Neapolitan architect and antiquarian was the mastermind behind the garden design. He not only procured the classical roman statuary for the Cardinal’s personal collection but liberally sprinkled pieces throughout his patron’s garden. Rumors about the pleasure garden decorated with naked (!) statues of pagan gods and goddesses as well as about the Cardinal’s questionable interests and behavior filtered back to Rome to the ears of later popes, who were scandalized enough to accuse him of simony (corruption), confiscate his property, strip him of his governorship and exile him from the Papal States.

 

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 10 reviews
80%
(8)
20%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
Reviewer avatar
S.S.
Villa d'Este

Excellent presentation. Well organized and detailed historical information on the Villa d'Este.

M
M.M.
Impeccable expertise - Engaging personality

I have joined Liz for all of her Conversations and will hope for more to come! Besides the beautiful photos and conversations packed for information, her Q&A sessions show clearly that she has a fascinating wealth of information far exceeds the time we have with her. I am looking forward to any future conversations she may post. When possible, I would love to tour Rome with her in person!

M
M.

Wonderful images, awesome wealth of fascinating information. Liz is a charismatic storyteller and attentive, encouraging guide. She is a “Sharazade” of art, archeology, and history. I will book any conversation that she creates. Hope there will be more!

M
M.

I've enjoyed all the Context presentations I've taken and have learned quite a bit. My daydream is that someday I'll be able to return to Italy and enjoy seeing the Tivoli Gardens by actually taking a real tour with Liz. It's a good dream to have during Covid as it helps me remember that this era will pass and once again I will be able to travel to your beautiful country. Liz is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about her subject matter. I always feel fortunate when I have the opportunity to attend one of her presentations.

P
P.

Excellent mix of history, place and aesthetics.

Customer Reviews

Based on 10 reviews
80%
(8)
20%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
Reviewer avatar
S.S.
Villa d'Este

Excellent presentation. Well organized and detailed historical information on the Villa d'Este.

M
M.M.
Impeccable expertise - Engaging personality

I have joined Liz for all of her Conversations and will hope for more to come! Besides the beautiful photos and conversations packed for information, her Q&A sessions show clearly that she has a fascinating wealth of information far exceeds the time we have with her. I am looking forward to any future conversations she may post. When possible, I would love to tour Rome with her in person!

M
M.

Wonderful images, awesome wealth of fascinating information. Liz is a charismatic storyteller and attentive, encouraging guide. She is a “Sharazade” of art, archeology, and history. I will book any conversation that she creates. Hope there will be more!

M
M.

I've enjoyed all the Context presentations I've taken and have learned quite a bit. My daydream is that someday I'll be able to return to Italy and enjoy seeing the Tivoli Gardens by actually taking a real tour with Liz. It's a good dream to have during Covid as it helps me remember that this era will pass and once again I will be able to travel to your beautiful country. Liz is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about her subject matter. I always feel fortunate when I have the opportunity to attend one of her presentations.

P
P.

Excellent mix of history, place and aesthetics.