Yo, Hadrian!

Today was a road trip to Tivoli, Italy, home to Villa Adriana (known to us as Hadrian's Villa) and Villa d'Este, one of the country's most notable gardens. I just looked at my iPhone Heart app and see that I took over 16,000 steps that day. I recently discovered that this heart thing on my phone monitors my steps as long as I have the phone with me. I don't have to set it up to do so. Now it's a daily obsession. Every day, I walk more than anyone else in my family even if we're together the whole day. That's because my legs are shorter and I have to take more steps :) Kind of amusing in a sad way!

So, lots of walking around the ruins that are Hadrian's Villa today. The place was built in the second and third decades of the 2nd century AD as a retreat from Rome for then Emperor Hadrian.

Turtles and huge fish live in these two pools on the grounds.

Next stop, Villa d'Este. Having spent my junior year of college in Copenhagen, I think of Tivoli Gardens as this charming amusement park in the center of Copenhagen:

Alas, this Tivoli was not the first Tivoli; it was named after Jardin de Tivoli in Paris, which was named after the original gardens of Tivoli in Italy.  So, next stop, Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Italy—a 16th century villa near Rome, famous for its terraced hillside Italian Renaissance garden and especially for its profusion of fountains. This is the most amazing thing: 51 fountains, 398 spouts, 364 water jets, 64 waterfalls, and 220 basins, fed by a half mile of canals, channels and cascades, and all working entirely by the force of gravity, without pumps. This last part—NO PUMPS. Some of these fountains sprayed as high as a three story building. Crazy!

Dinner this night was back in the 'hood at one of our old favorites—Il Monastero, home of the two-plate pizza. It's not all that filling because the crust is sooooo thin. Mine's half zucchini and half arugula, tomato and mozzarella.

A very cool penthouse apartment seen on our walk home from dinner. Maybe that'll be our apartment next year! ;)