Oval Fountain of Villa d'Este, Tivoli

Awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Villa d'Este is a sublime castle perched in the heart of Tivoli, Rome. On its colorful facade are traces of the haunting beauty of strong Renaissance architecture, featured in the detailed sculpt work on the walls of the entrance. High rising trees, perhaps as old as the erection of the manor, welcomes the guest into a majestic view of old nobility. Clear water shoots up from the rows of fountains from the entrance to the inner gardens.


Oval Fountain of Villa d'Este, Tivoli


History and Architecture of the Villa d' Este Tivoli

Ville d'Este was known to be commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito Il d'Este, the governor of Tivoli and the namesake of the villa. His new position came with a gift: a palace, which he had reconstructed with the help of Pirro Ligorio and the court architect, Alberto Galvani. The vivid colors of the walls and interiors were done by the Forli artist, Livio Agresti. Because of its intense detailwork, the villa took more than twenty years of completion. It is with dismay that the d'Este was not able to see the perfected look of his grand project.

With a great nod to Renaissance mannerism, the sloped gardens were designed with water tanks, cascades and pools. Marble was mainly used for its construction. Helmed as a "fantasy garden", statues were installed along with the grand water features, creating a storytelling ambiance within the lush backdrop of the forest.

Cardinal Alessandro d'Este extended the gardens before it has been passed to the House of Habsburg, when the d'Este daughter was married to the duke. Years after its neglect, the villa was purchased by the Italian state and was restored back to its full glory. Today, it is used as a museum and a grand park of remarkable fountains, including the Oval Fountain.

The star among the villa's gorgeously arrayed water features, the Oval Fountain is located right in the center of the architectural masterpiece. It is said that that fountain was inspired from the Tiburtine Mountains and the beautiful cascading falls from which derived the three main rivers of Tivoli:  the Aniene, Albuneo and Ecolaneo. These rivers are represented into three magnificent statues. A great pool of clear water surrounds the jetting of liquid atop the oval basin. Notably, this basin appears to be a glass of champagne which overflows with the drink. Several caves were dug around the pool, from which the water flows from the upper basin. Each cave has a smaller fountain where the water gushes out.



This beautiful fountain has inspired many other replicas in Europe, such as the Jardin de Tivoli in Paris and the modern contemporary water feature by Fritz Meyer, installed in a park in Copenhagen. It is also reminiscent to a similar looking fountain tucked inside the Capitol Way in the State of Washington. This was created by Peter Schmidt.

Inspired by this beautiful Renaissance water fountain? You too, can achieve such luxury with your own outdoor water feature. Browse through our range of beautiful fountains for your garden and patio and discover how you can add a renaissance glam to your own property.
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