Today marked the day I went out and traveled by myself in a foreign country for the first time. Smart? Maybe. Fun? Totally. A group of us went to Tivoli today to visit the Villa d’Este. The d’Este family was a very powerful and influential family during their time living at the villa which is much bigger than Hanover’s campus.
Alessandro d’Este is commonly known as the final husband to Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI. We took the metro and learned quickly how to problem solve. Line B of the metro splits off into two separate areas. We ended up on the wrong side and had to make out way back to the split off point and try again. Eventually we made it to our cortal bus and off we went to Tivoli by using our lovely Roma Passes.
Tivoli is away from the city and up on a large green covered hillside. We would our way up and eventually got off where we could easily walk to our destination. In Roma, the traffic is terrible and the people are impatient. In Tivoli, the traffic is slower and the people more than friendly. It’s smaller, quainter, and a beautiful sight. The Villa d’Este is more than amazing and the pictures do not do it justice. Afterwards we ate together and then I decided, even against the darkening clouds, that I would stay behind and travel to the Villa Adriana alone.
It was quite the adventure, one which ended up being breathtaking and in the wrong villa. I ended up stumbling upon the Villa Gregoriana. I had no idea what it was but I climbed down into the trees, bought a ticket, and hiked further in. It ended up being over an hour worth of a hike up and down large Roman designed steps. I was dead at the end, but the sites were glorious. I couldn’t have made a better adventure for myself if I tried. I got lost afterwards because the bus that had taken me to the Villa was on the opposite end of where the trail came out. So I was bus-less and pretty lost.
I travelled around the local area, asked a few locals for directions, and ended up at the train station buying my first train ticket. I learned how to buy from the machines, find my platform number, then how to find the Termini from the train station in Rome. I learned how to ask for directions in Italian, be independent, and trust my instincts when it came to travelling alone. I’ll be doing it again soon.