Villa d’Este was commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II, son of Lucrezia Borgia, in 1550. (At that time in the church’s history, the hierarchy was more of a dynasty with great wealth and political power as well as religious authority. [We saw amazing examples of the church’s wealth and political power in medieval German villages during our river cruise through that region last fall] Ranks like Cardinal were inherited, and the crown of the Pope was usually handed down to family.)
Villa d’Este is located in Tivoli, not too far from Rome. With its terraced gardens and fountains, and opulent interior, it is a great example of the wealth of the church in medieval Italy.
It sprinkled a bit as we drove back to Rome, and we had a lovely sunset. Little did we know that during the night the sky would explode with a thunder and lightning storm that I have not experienced since I lived in Massachusetts.