Hyppolitus d’Este’s gardens exuded beauty and good taste. Of course! Beauty and good taste came easily to Hyppolitus: he was one of the most influential Cardinals of the Papal Curia, the son of Alphonso I, Duke of Ferrara (one of the most powerful and feared condottieri in Italy) and Lucretia Borgia (and therefore Pope Alexander VI’s grandson).
Tapping into his funds, Hyppolitus bought a tidy piece of land in Tivoli. This was where ancient aristocrats built luxury residences, taking advantage of the Aniene River and its abundant tributaries… Just like the Emperor Hadrian had built his Villa, embellished with fountains, phenomenal landscaping, and incredible waterworks nearby, Hyppolitus d’Este, a quintessential Renaissance man, wanted his own version. And he got it!