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Trip Report A brief day in Rome (day trip to Tivoli)

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I just spent a brief day in Rome. I opted for a day trip to Tivoli, as I'd seen many of the major attractions in Rome. Then I went to San Clemente and then the Titian exhibition at Scuderie before leaving Rome.

The boring logistics....

Getting to Tivoli

I did not have time to do any research before stopping in Rome, so I wasted a fair bit of time getting there. Here are some tips that others may find useful.

(1) Tivoli can be reached by a Cotral bus via the Ponte Mammolo stop on line B of the Metro. Note, however, there are two branches of line B, so make sure you take the correct branch (I did not).

(2) I did not have any bags, so I could have headed straight to the Tiburtina station from FCO and switched to the Metro there. Instead, I went to Termini first instead, which was a waste of time.

(3) The buses to Tivoli leave from the upper level of the station. The Cotral ticket office is on the same level, but it was not open.

(4) Ticket counters in the lower level sell Cotral bus tickets, but the agents were completely not helpful about when the next bus would leave. This was not a trivial exercise, as the screens said that the next bus was an hour later.

(5) To figure which bus I was supposed to take, I had to go up to the upper level and read the screens over each bus stop. Sure enough I did not have to wait an hour.

Villa Adriana or Villa d'Este first?

(6) I opted for Villa Adriana first, but this was a pretty unpopular choice. I think I was the only one tourist who went there from Rome on that bus. Two other German tourists got on later on the route.

(7) This "direct" bus to Villa Adriana leaves less frequently than the bus to Tivoli proper. On my particular visit, the "direct" bus left 15 minutes later than the the bus to Tivoli proper, so I thought that it was fine to visit Villa Adriana first. Also I figured that it'd be easier to head this way, as I could ask at the Villa for directions to Villa d'Este later.

On my particular visit, the bus to the Villa left on stop #3 on the upper level; the bus to Tivoli on stop #2.

(8) Bus tickets can be bought at the ticket counters on the lower level (as mentioned above). I bought mine at the cafe. They cost 2.20 euros to Tivoli (or Villa Adriana) and 1.10 euros between Tivoli and Villa Adriana. So the whole Rome-Villa-Tivoli-Rome cost 5.50 euros total.

(9) Have the bus driver let you know where you should get off at the Villa. The stop is close to a playground, and to head to the villa, walk in the opposite direction from the bus. It's a very short walk to the villa.

(10) To go to Tivoli from the Villa, get on bus 4 or 4X (these are local buses) or a Cotral bus at the same stop where you got off (it's signposted "fermata" if I remember correctly). You can find schedules for 4/4X on the ticket window at the Villa.

Instead I took a Cotral bus as it came (though I'm not sure if my ticket allowed me to do that). But I made the mistake of getting off at the last stop, which was not the city center of Tivoli, so I had to backtrack. So if you're unsure, it'd be best to ask the driver for Villa d'Este (or follow the crowds I suppose).

(11) Villa d'Este is a short walk form the bus stop in Tivoli proper (Piazza Garibaldi).

(12) Going back to Rome from Villa d'Este was easy -- the bus leaves from the main square (Piazza Garibaldi). However apparently some buses could be full, so I ran into two tourists who'd taken the bus in the opposite direction from Rome to the last stop (where I got off by mistake), and they told me that they were unable to get off on the first couple of buses that came by.

However I did not have this problem.

One last tip I'd add is that it's probably not a good idea to attempt the trip on a Sunday. Buses leave much less frequently, so you should have a complete grasp of bus schedules to avoid the risk of being stranded. I *think* Villa Adriana might be closed on a Monday -- in any case, check opening hours before you go.

Ok, now the fun part!

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