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Popes or their families were involved in making expensive and impressive villas, works of art or monuments for power and family prestige, now these structures account to a great deal of income.
Villa D’Este is no different story, in-fact this is byproduct of Roman Catholic priests’ luxurious and competitive life style.
Pope Julius III elevated Cardinal Ippolito II D’Este, grandson of Pope Alexander VI, to governor of Tivoli (north east of Rome) in 1550.
As a result of his new assignment, the cardinal was given an old monastery. Not satisfied with the new office, Ippolito, called famous architects, engineers and painters of that time to change an unknown monastery to ‘gardening and water-play model’ across Europe.
In the process, Villa Adriana marbles and statues were dismantled by the orders of the cardinal to making his own villa better.
The late-Renaissance villa stayed on D’Este family until the 18th C. when Maria Beatrice (daughter of Ercole II D’Este) married Duke Ferdinand of Habsburg, and automatically the villa became a Habsburg property.
As other Roman villas fate, the D’Este fell in disrepair and was neglected till the Italian State bought and restored it after the end of first world war. It is now open to the public
Villa D’Este became UNESCO world Heritage Site in 2001.