After yesterday’s exertions it was a relief to hear that today we were off on a coach trip. About an hour’s drive from Rome finds Tivoli and the water gardens of Villa d’Este. I’d heard of Tivoli – although only because there’s a theatre of the same name 20 miles from home. But these water gardens were new to me.
Having just Googled the place to check the spelling, I’ve learned that it’s included on the UNESCO world heritage list.
Sloping grounds have been landscaped to include water features, fountains and grottos. The soothing sounds of the water cascading, cool the body and mind - the late summer sun soared above. Thankfully there are plenty of toilets!
Just below the village finds Hadrian’s Villa – of wall fame. Now ruins it’s still possible to pick out grand buildings.
It’s a stunning setting and fun to explore. Although it covered a large area visitors are invited to stroll around freely.
The beauty of coach travel is that conversations are seldom private. Elsa’s cubs were not a happy bunch. Personally I think they were a bunch of wimps. So what if she wanted to throw some of them to the lions? That was just her pride talking, wasn’t it?
Elsa was, despite her petite size, formidable. She would run through itineraries, making sure we all knew where we needed to be and when. Unfortunately some wanted to make notes. Elsa was baffled by this. Much of what she said was just anecdotal; it was interesting but not to be learnt as homework. Meet in reception at 9.00 was all I needed to know.