Visit Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli: tickets, prices, opening hours

Visiting Rome? Be sure to visit Hadrian’s Villa! Here’s our guide to the essentials: presentation, tickets, prices and opening hours!

get to Villa d’

to get to Villa d’

Situated in the municipality of Tivoli – Tibur in Roman times – in the Lazio region, some 30 km east of Rome. Built in the 2nd century A.D. during the reign of Hadrian (76-138), Hadrian’s Villa is a complex of ancient buildings erected at the height of the Roman Empire’s territorial power.

When Hadrian was appointed emperor, the empire stretched from Scotland to the Sahara, from the Carpathians to Cyrenaica (Libya), from the Black Sea to the Sudan. Hadrian’s Villa is considered one of the richest monumental ensembles of antiquity. It is a vast complex of palaces, fountains and baths inspired by Greek and Egyptian architecture.

Still have some time left after your visit to Rome? Treat yourself to a bonus visit to Hadrian’s Villa! If you love Italian history, this site is sure to arouse your curiosity.

Presentation and history of Hadrian’s Villa

Rome, visiter la Villa d'Hadrien ruines

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Valeria Cantone

Emperor Hadrian, a man of letters, a poet, a philosopher and a pacifist with an interest in architecture, drew up his own plans for domed buildings. Early in his reign, he decided to establish his new imperial residence away from Rome, on the slopes of the Tiburtine mountains and on the site of a villa dating back to the Republic of Rome (built under Sylla, enlarged by Julius Caesar). This was a strategic location, as the area boasted numerous quarries and was supplied with water by four aqueducts: ideal resources for building the palace, the Roman baths and the fountains. Hadrian’s Villa was built in three successive phases, from 118 to 121, from 125 to 128 and from 134 to 138. Frequented by the Roman aristocracy even after the emperor’s death, the villa was abandoned in the 3rd century.

Hadrian’s Villa after the fall of the Empire

It wasn’t until the Italian Renaissance that the humanist Flavio Biondo rediscovered the ruins, over 1300 years later. In 1870, after Italian unification, Hadrian’s Villa became the property of the Italian state. Numerous archaeological excavations were carried out, unearthing relics from the Roman era, including mosaics and stuccoes, and revealing the magnificence of Roman architecture.

While the complex covered 120 hectares in the 2nd century, only 40 are visible today. Two-thirds of the site remains to be discovered. Today’s Villa measures 1,200 meters from north to south and 600 meters from east to west. It comprises some thirty buildings: thermal baths, administrative buildings, theaters, squares, promenades, gardens and green spaces dotted with fountains and water features. According to historians and archaeologists, Hadrian’s Villa represents all the works, sites and monuments that the emperor Hadrian himself may have visited during his travels in the conquered territories of Europe, then under Roman rule. In 1999, the site was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage monuments.

What to see and do at Hadrian’s Villa?

Visite des ruines de la Villa d'Hadrien rome

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Luca Lorenzelli

If you’re fascinated by the history of the Roman Empire and the immense legacy it left as the cradle of European civilization today, then you’ll probably be interested in visiting Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli. The most visited part is the building called Canope. It’s a copy of a sanctuary visited in Alexandria, and contains a huge swimming pool, encircled by columns adorned with caryatid statues. Continue your visit with the libraries, baths, gardens, water features, the maritime theater – built in 118, a « villa within a villa » – and its circular pond surrounded by a lake. -its circular pond surrounded by columns, and a small Roman villa on the island in the middle of the pond. The 40 hectares of palaces, monuments, columns, gardens and fountains reflect the art and power of the Roman Empire as it was at its height in the 2nd century AD. However, the interpretation of the premises and their function is subject to debate and not unanimously accepted by historians. It is thought that Hadrian’s Villa copied the monuments of ancient Greece and Egypt, including the Pœcile, the Academy, the Lyceum, the Prytaneum of Athens, the sanctuary of Serapis and the canal linking the city of Canope to Alexandria. In fact, only Canopus and the Temple of Serapis can be identified with any certainty on the site.

To make the most of your visit, don’t miss the Canope, the Pœcile complex, the Piazza d’Oro, the Hall of the Philosophers and the Hospitalia. The Canope is a 119-metre-long, 18-metre-wide body of water. It is said to be Hadrian’s direct tribute to Antinous, a favorite and lover of the emperor, who drowned at the age of 20. Nearby, the thermal baths run parallel to the Canope. To the west of the maritime theater is the Pœcile complex, the largest building in Hadrian’s Villa. On the highest part of the Villa, move on to the Academy Terrace, an esplanade over 200 meters long. To the northeast, you’ll see the Hospitalia – a complex of ten rooms dedicated to the elite soldiers of the Praetorian Guard – the Philosopher’s Hall and the Imperial Palace. It is thought that the Villa could accommodate up to 3,000 people: a court, servants and Praetorian guards. Hadrian’s Villa, a veritable city within the city, left behind an architectural legacy that bears witness to a high degree of social segregation between the different population categories of Roman society! Historians and archaeologists believe that the wealthy inhabitants of Hadrian’s Villa stayed in the palace with the emperor, while the courtiers, soldiers of the Praetorian Guard and servants stayed in less sumptuous quarters, notably the Hospitalia.

How do I get to Hadrian’s Villa?

To visit Hadrian’s Villa, you must first fly to Rome. There are, of course, many flights from France to Rome Fiumicino airport. Compare prices on Ulysses and take off at the lowest possible cost. For example, you’ll find return flights from Paris to Rome from €60 (for 8 days in September 2019).

You can also visit Hadrian’s Villa from Rome by public transport. Take the Metro B to the Ponte-Mammolo stop. By bus, Co. Tral, direction Prenestina, will take you to Hadrian’s Villa, leaving from the Ponte-Mammolo station and getting off at the « Bivio Adriana » stop. You can also get to Hadrian’s Villa by train, but this is even less convenient: FS train to Tivoli, then CAT bus (line 4).

If you’ve opted for an excursion – and in French! -you’ll be picked up from your hotel in Rome and given a private guide for the tour. If you’re coming for several days or even a week to visit Italy, rent a car to be free (but beware of the traffic in Rome…): Hadrian’s Villa is to the south of the town of Tivoli, on Via di Villa Adriana.

Villa d’Hadrien opening hours and prices

Opening hours

The Villa d’Hadrien is open every day of the year, except December 25 and January 1.

You can visit the Villa d’Hadrien :

  • November to January: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m,
  • February: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m,
  • March to October: 9 am to 6:30 pm,
  • April and September: 9 am to 7 pm,
  • May to August: 9am to 7:30pm.


  • Adults: €10,
  • European Union citizens aged 18 to 25: €5,
  • Under 18s: free.

Good to know

  • If you still have time: a visit to the Villa d’Este is also worthwhile,
  • Allow several hours, or even the whole day, to visit Hadrian’s Villa,
  • Audio guides are available at the ticket office in Italian, English, French, Spanish and German. Cost: €5 for a detailed 1h15 commentary.