One of the most magical places in Italy is the Villa d’Este where fountains transport you to the opulence of the Renaissance. The Renaissance villa was designed by Pirro Ligoriot in 1550 for Ippolito d’Este, the son of Lucretia Borgia and Alfonso I, duke of Ferrara. Lucretia was the daughter of Pope Alessandro IV. At the age of 10, Ippolito was named Archbishop of Milan and at 30 he became Cardinal Ippolito d’Este of Ferrara although he never became a pope. He became the governor of the city of Tivoli in 1550. The Governor’s house in Tivoli was the north-east wing of the convent annexed to Santa Maria Maggiore. Ippolito decided to create a structure worthy of competing with the Imperial Villa of Hadrian. He definitely succeeded in attaining his vision!
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