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Villa d'Este, Tivoli

The Villa d'Este is a villa situated at Tivoli, near Rome. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, it is a masterpiece of Italian architecture and especially garden design. The chief painter of the ambitious internal decoration was Livio Agresti from Forlì.

The Villa d'Este was commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este, son of Alfonso I d'Este and Lucrezia Borgia and grandson of Pope Alexander VI. He had been appointed Governor of Tivoli by Pope Julius III, with the gift of the villa, which had entirely reconstructed to plans of Pirro Ligorio under the direction of the Ferrarese architect Alberto Galvani. From 1550 until his death in 1572, when the villa was nearing completion, he created a palatial setting surrounded by a fabulous terraced garden in the late-Renaissance mannerist style, which took full advantage of the dramatic slope but required innovations in bringing a sufficient water supply, which was employed in cascades, water tanks, troughs and pools, water jets and fountains, giochi d'acqua.

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