Palazzo San Bernardino
P.zza del Governo. 1, 00019 Tivoli
Telefono 0774 4531, Fax 0774 330675

Ufficio relazioni con il pubblico
U.R.P. (Piazza del Governo, 2)
Telefono: 0774 453203 - 0774 453230
orari: dal Lunedí al Sabato 9.00-12.00
Martedí e Giovedí 15.00-17.00

Ufficio Anagrafe
Fax 0774 453325

delegazione Villa Adriana
Ufficio relazioni con il pubblico
Via di Villa Adriana, 178
Telefono 0774 453542
orari: Giovedí 9.00-12.00 - 15.00-17.00

delegazione Tivoli Terme
Ufficio relazioni con il pubblico
Via Don Minzoni, 9/a
Telefono 0774 354151
orari: Martedí 9.00-12.00 - 15:00-17.00 e Venerdí 9.00-12.00

Ufficio Elettorale
Fax 0774 453364

Storia Urbanistica - English Version

Tivoli (pop. 53000) is situated along the Aniene river near the Great Waterfall on the western slopes of the Monti Tiburtini (quite high hills to the east of Rome). Since ancient times the town has taken advantage both of its climate and of its position as it controlled the whole traffic from and to the Abruzzi.

The richness of the waters favoured, over the centuries, the constructions of large architectural complexes.

The most remarkable examples are constituted by Villa Adriana dating from the Roman times, the XVI century Villa d'Este, Villa Gregoriana built in the XIX century in the chasm of the Aniene valley just underneath the Roman acropolis. Urban development has slightly changed the old Roman buildings. Several alterations took place especially during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the XIX century; while more radical changes took place after the Second World War because of the massive destructions.

Tradition relates that the origins of Tivoli date from 1215 B.C. and correspond to the founding of the Latin village (Tibur) which probably stood on the site of the acropolis. Rome soon had great influence on Tivoli (380 B.C.) to which it was directly linked by Via Tiburtina.antica.gif (13034 byte) The most ancient buildings which can still be seen today, dating from the IV century B.C., are the square-based defensive walls which surrounded the acropolis and the ancient district of St.Paul. During the II century B.C. the town underwent a radical urban renewal which affected all the most important urban sectors. Some imposing public buildings were built such as the Sanctuary of Hercules the Victor and the Temple of the Cough. The former is still undergoing archaeological excavations and restorations; at the end of the XV century a convent was erected on its ruins then, at the end of the XVIII century, it was replaced by several factories and paper works. The latter was located beside the ancient layout of Via Tiburtina, the present-day Via degli Orti. The Forum was built during the same period in the same place where Piazza del Duomo stands today. One can still see the Augusteum, the Mensa Ponderaria (the Wheights and Measures office) and the traces of a basilica standing behind the abside of the cathedral. The two most famous temples of Tivoli were erected on the acropolis. The rectangular one is called the Temple of the Sybil; the round one is known as the Temple of Vesta. During the Middle Ages they were turned into churches. Finally, near the Rocca Pia stands the Roman Amphitheatre (known as the amphitheatre of Bleso)

After the fall of the Roman Empire the Roman town was replaced by the medieval town through several works of urban restructuring. The replacement of the forum with the Cathedral of St.Lawrence is a good example of this process.

Tivoli maintained a quite good position of political autonomy up to the early Middle Ages, period in which the largest suburban villas dating from the Roman age fell to ruin. The town reached again its former splendour with Frederick Barbarossa: the new city walls were erected (1155) and the urban area was remarkably widened. Between the XI and the XII century many turret-houses were built inside the urban area. These very high, quadrangular constructions, were used both as dwellings and as defence. They were placed in the strategic points of the town. Some beautiful examples can still be admired today in Vicolo dei Ferri, Via Postera, Via del Seminario and Via del Colle. The Arengo Palace, the Town-Hall Tower and the Church of St.Michael date approximately from the same period. They were the centre of civil, municipal and religious life in Piazza Palatina and Piazza delle Erbe since they were situated exactly in the heart of the town.Tivoli panorama.jpg (24933 byte)

Later on Tivoli was divided into 4 districts: Castrovetere, St.Paul, St.Croce and Trevio. In 1461 Pope Pius II began to erect the Rocca Pia in order to subdue the town to the papal power. This imposing quadrilateral fortress is composed of four round corner-towers.

Villa d'Este, the splendid villa designed by Pirro Ligorio, was built when Cardinal Hippolyte d'Este was appointed Life Governor, in 1550. A remarkable urban development occurred afterwards and many valuable patrician palaces were constructed (Palazzo Cenci-Alberici, Bellini, Pusterla in Via of the Trevio and Palazzo Mancini, Pacifici in Via Maggiore, the present-day Via Domenico Giuliani). In the late XVI century the new Town-Hall was built on part of the Roman walls and incorporated some medieval structures (the guard tower which can still be seen on the left side). The building was at first used as a convent and then, in the XIX century, it was restored.

The Cathedral of St.Lawrence (1635-40) and the Church of the Gesù, the town's two most emblematic churches, were erected during the Baroque period. The former took the place of the ancient medieval constructions (the beautiful Romanesque bell-tower still remains as an example). The latter disappeared after an aerial bombing in May 1944.

In 1826 a catastrophic flood of the Aniene river seriously damaged the built-up area in Tivoli. In order to solve this problem it was necessary to divert the course of the river: two tunnels were dug under Mount Catillus following the project of the architect Clemente Folchi. The waters of the river, canalized into the tunnels, formed the Great Waterfall which falls down a hundred-metre drop into Villa Gregoriana. During the same period Piazza Rivarola was restored and Ponte Gregoriano built. Ponte Gregoriano was named after the Pope who ordered the river to be diverted.


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