Hadrian (76 CE through 138 CE) was born in modern-day Spain, of parents of Italian heritage. In Latin, his name would have been Publius Aelius Hadrianus Augustus / PVBLIVS AELIVS HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, and he was named heir to the throne by Emperor Trajan in 117 virtually on his death bed.
Hadrian traveled far and wide, conquering when he needed to and building extensively. You can still see his work – the Pantheon, Castel Sant’Angelo, and Villa Adriana are the most well known today.
Villa Adriana is in Tivoli, about an hour outside Rome, and was built as a summer or vacation home for the emperor. It contained more than 30 buildings spread over 250 acres. It’s structures echoed classical Greek styles as well as Egyptian, and the entire space is considered to have been the greatest example in Rome of an Alexandrian garden. Included in the space were steam baths, grottos, theaters, palaces, temples, libraries and more.
Today, nearly 2000 years later, it is of course in ruins, but the ruins are spectacular and you should take a trip to see them next time you’re in Rome. Until then, check out the photos here, and enjoy. (Most of the photos were taken by Pasquale or his students/only one is mine. See details of the photos for photographer's names.)