Open images in Luna Commons
Interpretive Text
Interactive Plan

Historical Documentation
Pliny, Letter on the Laurentian Villa
Pliny, Letters on the Tuscan Villa
Vitruvius, Ten Books on Architecture

Important! Some links on this page will launch a pop window. To view the images you must adjust your browser settings to allow pop windows for the following url: For more instructions, click here.

Hadrian’s Villa

Dates: 76–138
Patron: Hadrian, Emperor of Rome , 76–138
Designer: Unknown
Location: Europe — Italy — Lazio — Tivoli

Hadrian’s Villa is a large Roman villa built by the emperor Hadrian between 118 and 136 CE in the valley below Tivoli located about 20 miles from Rome. The villa was Hadrian’s preferred residence when he was in Rome. His choice of an imperial palace outside Rome, instead of one of the several palaces in Rome, was probably influenced by the miserable relations he had with the senate and the local Roman aristocracy. The villa covered an area of close to 300 hectares (c. 750 acres), of which much is still unexcavated. The complex of more than 30 buildings contained sumptuously decorated and landscaped open porticoes, closed peristyles, a bathing complex, a hippodrome, a theater, libraries, and apartments for guests or soldiers. It has been surmised that in constructing this sprawling complex, Hadrian was assembling in one place a summation of the varied landscapes and monuments the Roman Empire contained. Since the sixteenth century, the villa has been the site of extensive archeological investigation and excavation. Of great significance in the sixteenth century was the plundering of sculpture from the villa, much of which was placed in such famous gardens as the Cortile Belvedere in the Vatican Palace and the nearby Villa d’Este in Tivoli.

  © Copyright 2005 The Bard Graduate Center : Help : Terms of Use : Sitemap