Exploring Rome and Beyond: Hadrian’s Villa

Last weekend a couple of friends and I went to visit Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli. What I love about being a degree-seeking student at John Cabot is having the chance to explore places in Italy that I may not have had the time to see if I were here for only a semester.


The three of us met up at the bus stop and proceeded to have to wait for quite some time, as to be expected. Once we made it to Termini we promptly bought our tickets and realized we had no clue what platform we were supposed to leave from.

While a friend of mine raced to McDonald’s for his afternoon big mac, I flagged down one of the workers at Termini. The man also did not know where we were supposed to go. The two of us raced around the station looking at train schedules, and speaking with other employees. Once he figured out what I was supposed to do, he explained everything to me in his broken English.

Tivoli Villa Adriana

Hoping I understood him correctly, I rounded up my friends and headed toward our platform. Once we arrived at our fist stop to switch trains, I was confused yet again. Luckily, as I turned around the same man popped up next to me smiling and led us to the next platform we had to be at.

Once we finally arrived in Tivoli, we wandered around asking for directions to Hadrian’s Villa. We finally arrived to the villa and were just thrilled. The weather was absolutely perfect, and there was hardly anyone touring the property.

Hadrian’s Villa was constructed as a retreat from Rome for the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Later in his reign he governed from this villa.  There were various successors of the villa. During the decline of the Roman Empire, the villa was not in use and was ruined.


The villa is enormous and you could easily spend your entire day exploring the property. After walking around for several hours, we made our way back into town to catch the next train. Once we bought our ticket, we were too busy analyzing if we wanted anything from the vending machine to realize when our train was arriving. This homeless man casually sauntered up, and pointed to a train that was about to leave and said that is the train to Rome. Frantically, the three of us hopped into the train. Realizing we listened to a possibly crazy homeless man, we were slightly skeptical but luckily returned back in Rome a couple hours later.

It was an awesome way to spend a beautiful Saturday in Rome. I would recommend a visit to Hadrian’s Villa to spend the day exploring the beautiful property.

Michelle Moylan
Communications Major
JCU Class of 2015
Home State: California

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