Concordance of Site Names at Hadrian’s Villa 


Traditional Name (Italian; source: “[]” indicates a term lacking in the source. N.B. the so-called “Liceo” is omitted.)

Traditional Name (English; source: B. Adembri, Hadrian’s Villa [Electa 2000] 22-23.  “[]” indicates a term lacking in the source. N.B. the so-called “Lyceum” is omitted.)

Macdonald-Pinto Name

(Source: W. Macdonald and J. Pinto, Hadrian’s Villa and Its Legacy [New Haven, London 1995])

Part of


(Sources and Abbreviations:

Aurigemma=S. Aurigemma, Villa Adriana (Rome 1996).

Bloch=H. Bloch," I bolli laterizi e la storia edilizia romana. La Villa Adriana a Tivoli", Bullettino della commissione archeologica comunale di Roma 45 (1937) 113-181.

Chiappetta=F. Chiappetta, I percorsi antichi di Villa Adriana (Rome 2008).

De Franceschini and Veneziano=M. De Franceschini and G. Veneziano, Villa Adriana. Architettura celeste (Rome 2011).

Hidalgo=R. Hidalgo, "Il cosiddetto Teatro Greco di Villa Adriana: questioni di identificazione e interpretazione," Lazio e Sabina 6 (2010) 39-45.

Hoffmann=A. Hoffmann, Das Stadiongarten in der Villa Hadriana (Mainz 1980).

Ligorio=P. Ligorio, De la Villa Hadriana Tiburtina. Libro o vero trattato delle Antichità XXII di Phyrro Ligorio Patritio Napoletano et Cittadino Romani nel quale si dichiarano alcune famose Ville et particolarmente della Antica Città di Tibure et di alcuni monumenti, Archivio di Stato di Torino a II 7 J20, fol 30r-55; Trattato delle Antichità di Tivoli et della Villa Hadriana fatto da Pyrrho Ligorio Patritio Napoletano et dedicato all' Cardinal di Ferrara., Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Codex Vaticanus Latinus 5295, fol. 1r - 32 v. Extracts in F. Chiappetta, I percorsi antichi di Villa Adriana (Rome 2008).

Macdonald and Pinto=W. Macdonald and J. Pinto, Hadrian's Villa and Its Legacy (New Haven and London 1995).

Mari= Z. Mari, "Villa Adriana: recenti scoperte e stato della ricerca," Ephemeris Napocensis 20 (2010) 7-37.

Ortolani= G. Ortolani, Il padiglione di Afrodite cnidia a Villa Adriana: progetto e significato (Rome 1998).

Penna=A. Penna, Viaggio pittorico nella Villa Adriana (Rome 1831).

Salza Prina Ricotti=E. Salza Prina Ricotti, Villa Adriana. Il sogno di un imperatore (Rome 2001).

Pensabene and Ottati=P. Pensabene and A. Ottati, "Nuove testimonianze di architettura dorica a Villa adriana," in Lazio e Sabina 6 (2010) 23-37.

Sapelli Ragni=M. Sapelli Ragni, editor, Villa adriana. Una storia mai finita (Milan 2010).

Romeo=P. Romeo, "'Signora delle due terre': Sabina e l'Egitto," in Vibia Sabina. Da Augusta a diva, ed. B. Adembri and R. M. Nicolai (Rome 2007) 66-73.

Ytterberg=M. Ytterberg, "The Perambulations of Hadrian" (Dissertation University of Pennsylvania 2005).



Southern Range

The Academy, one of the least-studied components of the villa and still on private property, is located at the highest quota of the villa on an artificial terrace to which Roccabruna abuts on the north and which continues southward toward the Mimizia and South Theater. It could also be reached via a branch of the tunnel off the Grande Trapezio, which was itself linked to a tunnel running toward the Piazza d’Oro and eventually to the Temple of Venus. For those arriving from Roccabruna, the point of arrival was the vestibule (1) which had stuccoed walls and opus sectile pavements. Here were found the Young and Old Centaurs now in the Capitoline Museums. From the vestibule one passed into a large peristyle (10) around which were rooms on the north and east sides as well as a double colonnade on the west. One room (21) was a one-person latrine. On the east stands the rotunda at 17 (the so-called “Temple of Apollo”) whose eastern half is well-preserved. Traces of stucco survive on its walls.The space was probably covered by a dome with a central oculus. In the adjacent room to the east (13) was found the famous “Doves” mosaic  now in the Capitoline Museums. The room was elegantly decorated with opus sectile floors and walls. The large area 16 was a colonnaded garden. The Faun in rosso antico marble in the same museum was also found in the Academy, although the exact find spot is not known. The Barberini candelabra in the Vatican Museums were found between the Academy and the Mimizia. The overall purpose of the Academy is not known. A common speculation is that it hosted important guests, including, possibly, the Empress Sabina. The complex is difficult to date since all the bricks found here date to 123 and 124 CE, which goes us only the post quem of 124-138 CE. The complex dates to Phase II (125-133 CE).

Terrazza dell’Accademia

Terraces of Roccabruna and of the Academy

West Terrace

The terrace of Roccabruna is the narrow (35 m) portion of the long artificial terrace (over 250 m) running between Roccabruna and the Academy, before which the terrace widens to 120 m.




Just to the west of the access road leading to the Vestibule is a sacred precinct with two temples (2,3) in white marble facing each other across a plaza in the middle of which is the base that probably supported an obelisk. Delimiting the precinct on the west was a colonnaded hemicycle with a central room (7). Date palms were planted in the open areas. A number of pieces of Egyptianizing sculpture were found here, and the Antinous-Osiris (now in the Vatican Gregorian Egyptian Museum; inv. 22795), as well as the Harpocrates (Captoline Museums, inv .MC646) probably came from here as well. The excavators, Z. Mari and S. Sgalambro, think the sanctuary was dedicated to Antinous, Hadrian's younger friend who died by drowning in the Nile in 130 CE. The excavators speculate that the Pincian obelisk was originally erected on the base in the middle of the plaza; they also restore the two Egyptianizing telamones found nearby (Vatican Museums, inv. 196, 197) to the porch in front of room 7 ( Z. Mari and S. Sgalambro, "Antinoeion," AJA 111 [2007] 87, 98-99). The structure dates to ca. 134 CE.



Scenic Canal

A terraced garden (ca. 160 m) with a canal (119 x 18 m) along the main axis. Around the canal ran a colonnade which was curved on the north side, single on the western and double on the eastern side. In the middle of western side stood four “Caryatids” and two Sileni instead of columns. These allude to Athens: the former to the porch of the Porch of the Maidens on the south side of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis); the latter to the Hadrianic silenoi decorating the stage of the Theater of Dionysus. Statues on the rounded northern side include two Amazons (types: Sciarra and Mattei), a Hermes, and a Warrior (identified by some scholars as Theseus; see P. Pensabene, “Arredo statuario del Canopo,” Lazio e Sabina 7 [2011] 21n24). The Amazons are copies of statues in the Temple of Artemis as Ephesus (B.S. Ridgway,“A Story of Five Amazons,” AJA 78 [1974] 1-17). Heads with portraits of a youthful Hadrian and a Julio-Claudian male (Julius Caesar?) have also been found here, as were statues of personifications of the Nile and Tiber and a crocodile. On a platform in the water near both ends of the canal were erected statue groups featuring Scylla. It is unclear what, if any, program the sculpture represents (cf. P. Pensabene 2011: 30). At any rate, the Canopus was an open-air museum providing a feast for the eyes of banqueters dining in the Serapaeum. The Canopus dates to Phase II (125-133 CE).

Western Substructures of the Canopus

Canal Block

Flanking the Canopus along the west was a building with rooms on the ground floor in which were lofts below the barrel-vaulted ceilings. Above was a second level of rooms connected by a wood balcony, on top of which was a roof terrace. The structure has been interpreted as a storage building servicing the Canopus-Serapeum. In the Severan period the lofts were removed and the vaults decorated, the walls were enhanced with parietal opus sectile, and two latrines were added.

Caserma dei Vigili

Guard Barracks

North Service Building

This is a very plain building that evidently had a very utilitarian function. It consists of barrel-vaulted rooms on two levels placed around a rectangular courtyard paved in opus spicatum. A wooden balcony connected the rooms of the second story. Off the courtyard on the southwest side is a large latrine for 15 people. The building may have provided housing for the service staff, store rooms for equipment and supplies, or both. The building dates to phase I (118-125 CE).

Cento Camerelle

Hundred Chambers

Service Quarters

The "Cento Camerelle" ( or "The Hundred Chambers") is the name given to a series of rooms probably used for storing supplies and housing slaves. Located along the western side of the Pecile terrace, it consisted of four stories of rooms accessible from wood balconies connected by concrete stairs. Estimates of the number of rooms, which were paved in humble opus signinum, varies between 125 and 200. The lowest level included a latrine paved in opus spicatum. It gave onto a service corridor leading all the way to the Vestibule and the adjacent baths.

Cortile delle Biblioteche

Library Courtyard

Residence Quadrangle

A large peristyle off of which were located the Imperial Triclinium, Hospitalia, Imperial Palace, Baths with Heliocaminus, Maritime Theater and the Greek and Latin Libraries. The colonnades consisted of 19 columns on the long sides (66 m) and 14 on the short sides (51 m). In the center of the northern colonnade was a nymphaeum that survived from the republican villa, as does the courtyard itself.

Criptoportico del Palazzo

Cryptoporticus of the Palace

Residence Cryptoportico

Imperial Palace

This structure dates to the republican period and is situated beneath the Imperial Palace at the level of the Courtyard of the Libraries. Four barrel-vaulted corridors run around four sides of a rectangular; small windows provide lighting. The vault of the southeast corridor is decorated with a mosaic in pasta vitrea and there is a fountain in a niche. In the Hadrianic phase, the hallway was used as a service corridor. The cryptoporticus was connected to the series of passageways 8, 9, 11 through which circulation between the Hospitalia and Imperial Palace was possible.

Grande Trapezio

[Grande Trapezio]

Underground Galleries

This is part of the system of underground traffic tunnels. Its four sides form a trapezoid with two N-S branches that are 304 m  and two E-W branches totaling 296 m in length. Salza Prina Ricotti cogently suggests the reason for the structure: the tunnels were only wide enough for one-way traffic. As the provisioning of the villa progressed, empty carts had to be parked far from the loading areas in preparation for the change of direction in the tunnel. Moreover, the tunnels had to be laid out in a loop so that vehicles did not have to back up. Stalls also had to be provided for the horses, donkeys, and mules, evidence for which Salza Prina Ricotti found in two tunnels. Macdonald and Pinto  interpret the structure very differently: as a place for religious ceremonies. They note that stabling animals underground was not healthy, and they interpret the South Theater as a cult sanctuary for the Eleusinian Mysteries. But we may note that the analysis of Salza Prina Ricotti requires only that the animals be  hosted for the short time between delivery of provisions and the reversal of the flow of traffic: this could even have occurred each working day so that the animals’ health was not an issue. Moreover, the South Theater (q.v.)  was certainly a theater, not a cult sanctuary. Salza Prina Ricotti dates the entire tunnel system of the villa to the first years of the development of the site.

Biblioteca Greca

Greek Library

Fountain Court West

One of two buildings (called “libraries” by Ligorio) to the north of the Courtyard of the Libraries, the purpose of this structure, which abuts the Maritime Theater, is not known.It has three stories, of which the first is very high and divided into three large rooms (3, 10, 12) and several smaller spaces. The formal and elevated nature of the large rooms is suggested by the floors and walls in opus sectile and the many niches for statues. The building faces a formal garden to the north. The second story was utilitarian as is attested by the presence of praefurnia. The third floor was heated.  Bloch was unable to find any brickstamps, so it is also impossible to date the building. Scholars generally agree the building was used for leisure activities such as banquets and dates to the first phase (118-125 CE).

Teatro Greco

Greek Theater

North Theatre

This small theater, which had a rare oval plan, could hold between 2,900 and 3,600 spectators (R. Hidalgo, "Il cosidetto Teatro Greco," Lazio e Sabina 8 [2012] 24). It consisted of a pulpitum (stage) with a scaenae frons (stage building), a semi-circular orchestra, a cavea (seating area) with two maeniana (blocks of seats) divided by a praecinctio (aisle) to which were connected three vomitoria (entrance passageways). At the top of the cavea was a pulvinar (imperial box). Despite the (modern) name, the structure does not have the canonical plan of a Greek theater. Recent excavations by Hidalgo show that it lacked a porticus post scaenam (peristyle behind the stage), often associated with Roman theaters, but was set in the middle of a garden with fountains, pavilions, and topiary. As Hidalgo observes, the design was "a potpourri of elements belonging to Greek and Roman theaters united in a form and language that is innovative" (2012: 23). Very little of the decoration survives. Two herms, whose heads (restored in the 18C by Cavaceppi) are traditionally identified as Tragedy and Comedy, were found somewhere in the theater; they are now in the Vatican Museums (Pio-Clementino inv. 262, 285; Raeder, Statuarische Ausstattung, 1983:100). The date of the theater is uncertain.

Edificio con Pilastri Dorici

Building with the Doric Pillars

Ceremonial Precinct

Imperial Palace

This impressive space, located between the Imperial Palace and the Guard Barracks, had an uncertain function. Some scholars have speculated that it was used for imperial audiences. Three parts may be distinguished: on the east, an curved, open-air courtyard with plantings in the center and with three statue niches on apsidal wall; next, a series of five rooms; and, on the west, a large space recalling a basilica with side aisles delimited not by canonical colonnades but by a series of pillars connected by an architrave of the Doric order (hence the name of the structure). It is probable, but not certain, that the basilical space was roofed. The side aisles were covered by barrel vaults; the side walls and floors were in opus sectile. The building dates to Phase II (125-133 CE).

Sala dei Filosofi

The Philosophers’ Chamber

Apsidal Hall

A large hall, rectangular in plan with an exedra on the south framed by two columns and divided by seven niches. Located between the Pecile and Maritime Theater, the hall was decorated with a floor and walls in opus sectile, in part in porphyry (according to Ligorio). It may have been used for imperial audiences and meetings. The building dates to the first phase (118-125 CE).

Terme con Heliocaminus

Baths with Heliocaminus

Heliocaminus Baths

This elegant bathing complex, decorated with floors and walls in opus sectile, is adjacent to the Maritime Theater and Building with Fish Pond and thus was reserved for the use of the emperor and his inner circle. The entrance was through the eastern corridor (1). A colonnaded peristyle with a large pool (5) provided circulation to the various rooms, including the apodyteria (2-4), tepidaria (8-10), frigidarium (13) and the hot rooms (11, 15, 16, 17) on the south. A number of statues come from the complex, including the Aphrodite of Doidalsas was found on the base in the center of the east side of the pool in 5. The bath dates to the first phase (118-125 CE).

Hospitalia e Triclinio Imperiale

Hospitalia and Imperial Triclinium

Hall of the Cubicles

The Hospitalia was a two-storey building with 10 guest rooms on the first floor disposed off a long and wide central hallway at the southern end of which was a hall. Nothing survives of the second floor, which presumably mirrored the layout of the first. It was accessed via a staircase (22). The surviving rooms have three alcoves for three beds; the floors are paved in black and mosaic mosaic with geometric and floral designs.The rooms had frescoes with mythological scenes (Aurigemma, p. 185). There is one large latrine accommodating 15 people in the northwest corner. The structure dates to the first phase (118-125 CE).

Palazzo Imperiale

Imperial Palace


The Imperial Palace incorporates the remains of the republican villa. It was accessed by stairs (1,2) off the Courtyard of the Libraries. The rooms were disposed along the sides of five courts or peristyles (5-6, 24, 35, 54 and the unnumbered space abutting rooms 9, 11, 13, and 16). Off the entrance peristyle (5-6) were four rooms dedicated to imperial business (29, 30, 31, 32). These rooms were lavishly decorated in opus sectile; the floor of 29 ("Triclinium of the Centaurs") included the polychrome mosaics in opus vermiculatum in the Vatican and Berlin museums. 31 is interpreted as a library. Off the peristyle beyond to the south were offices for staff (39-48), formerly bedrooms in the republican phase. Off the southern end of the peristyle was the Nymphaeum (54); in the southeast corner was a summer triclinium (61). On the northwest side of the complex were the emperor's private suite of rooms, including his bedroom (8) and private latrines (10, 12). The modifications to the republican villa date to the first phase (118-125 CE).



Park Grotto

A recent study by C. Ohlig and D. Vieweger (Die Wasserkultur der Villa Hadriana, edited H. Fahlbusch [Siegburg 2008] 349-395) has shed new light on this part of the villa, long known as Inferi after the passage in Spartianus' Life of Hadrian 26 dedicated to the villa. The 135 m long, 18 m wide depression forming the area was an ancient tuff quarry. At the southern end a grotto-nymphaeum was carved into the rock with flanking tunnels. The grotto was extended with a brick construction in front.

Grandi Terme

Large Baths

Large Baths

The name “Large Baths” refers to the size of this bathing complex, which is bigger than the nearby “Small Baths.” There was a palestra (1) to the east off of which was the entrance (3). Apodyteria were located at 11 and 13; it is possible that 12 was the latrine. Frigidaria are found at 16 and 19; tepidaria at 17 and 20; caldaria at 24 and 26. The doubling of bathing rooms suggests a division of the building by gender. The larger room of each pairing is assumed to be reserved for males. The humble decoration of the interior (black and white mosaic floors, stuccoed walls) suggests that the bath was built for the use of the service staff. The large palestra may also be cited since the service staff would not have been able to exercise in the extensive green areas and ambulationes available to the high-ranking members of the court.  The structure dates to the first phase (118-125 CE).

Biblioteca Latina

Latin Library

Fountain Court East

Like the nearby Greek Library, this building cannot be dated by a brickstamp, nor is its function known.Like the Greek Library, it is oriented toward north and the ground floor has three large rooms (1, 4, 16) with a formal character (extensive use of opus sectile). In contrast to the Greek Library, which has three stories, the Latin Library has only two.

[Giardino delle Biblioteche]

Library garden

Fountain Court


This formal garden has an irregular shape set between the Greek and Latin Libraries to the south and to the north a 100-meter long retaining wall punctuated with alternating rectangular and curved niches. A euripus fountain ran along the east-west axis through the middle of the garden; it ended in two octogonal basins. The garden was presumably planted with topiary. The date must be the same as that (still unknown) of the adjacent Greek and Latin Libraries.

Teatro Marittimo

Maritime Theater

Island Enclosure

Pirro Ligorio (16C) gave the name “Maritime Theater” to this 35-room complex separated by a marble-lined canal from a circular colonnaded enclosure paved in white mosaic. The “island” rooms, paved in opus sectile, consist of 314 sq. m. of space and were accessible at entrances 8 and 25 by means of two retractable wooden bridges (4, 5). The design, dating to the earliest building phase at the villa, was inspired by the Roman house with an atrium in the middle centered on a pond comparable to an impluvium. A curvilinear colonnade decorated with a marine frieze (26) runs around the atrium. Off the atrium was a tablinum (17) to the south. On the west side was a small bath complex (9-12), a latrine for one person (15) and a bedroom (16). East of the atrium are spaces  interpreted as a bedroom (18), study (20), winter triclinium (23) and two more one-person latrines (19, 24). The Maritime Theater is connected to the Philosophers’ Chamber, the Courtyard of the Libraries, and the Greek Library. The complex dates to Phase I (118-125 CE).



Park Rotunda

Long thought to have been a tomb, this round structure has been shown by P. Pensabene and A. Ottati ("Nuove testimonianze dell'architettura dorica a Villa Adriana," Lazio e Sabina 6 [2010] 23-38) to have been a belvedere in the form of a round tholos in the Doric order with ten columns of Pentelic marble. The trabeation was mixed Ionic-Doric. The "Mausoleum" was thus the pendant of Roccabruna at the other extreme of the villa.The building can be dated on the basis of a brick stamp to after 123 CE.



Southern Hall

The name "Mimizia" was given by Ligorio because he thought it was associated with the actors who used the nearby South Theater. This poorly studied structure located between the Academy and South Theater was decorated with elegant opus sectile and sculpture: the Faun in red marble now in the Capitoline Museums was found here. The basement level is a large hypogaeum used for storage; a tunnel connects it to the Grande Trapezio.The purpose and date of the structure can only be clarified by further study.



South Theatre

This is a small theater that could have held 1,100-1,200 people. Although set at the southern end of the villa, spectators could be brought here by animal or vehicle through the villa's tunnel system, with which the Odeon is connected. The stage, scenae frons, cavea, and small temple at the top end of the main axis of the seating are well preserved. The orchestra was paved in opus sectile; the cavea in white marble. The structure was generously decorated with sculpture, but Ligorio reported in the 16C that many had been melted for lime. We know that the scenae frons was decorated with statues of the Muses (now in the Prado and Vatican Museums) and a frieze of tragic masks. In front of the temple was the statue group (now lost) of Hercules between Minerva and Clio. Macdonald and Pinto (p. 135) speculate that the Odeon may have been used for religious ceremonies, but the theatrical nature of the design and decor militate against this. The structure dates to the third phase (133-138).



Northern Ruins

This monumental complex, given its misleading name in the 16C, consisted of various buildings integrated in one block 100 meters square. The entrance was at a monumental staircase (in front of 4) oriented toward the nearby Greek Theater. New studies have shown that the structure had a large hall (1) surrounded by a double portico (9) with statue niches (Z. Mari and S. Sgalambro, Lazio e Sabina 8 [2012] 11-21). The center was paved in cipollino and had a trussed roof. Outside the arcades were fountains and basins. Behind the room was a garden (2) surrounded by a portico that also had fountains. One side faced a hanging garden with a fountain in the middle. On the opposite side was a large room (room 4; 18.5 x 13 m) divided into three aisles by cipollino and pavonazzetto columns crowned with white Corinthian capitals. The room was paved in opus sectile. A number of Egyptian, or Egyptianizing works of art, including the colossal bust of Isis now in the Vatican Gregorian Egyptian Museum and ceiling stuccoes with Isiac themes, were found here which lead some to believe the structure may have been an Isaeum (Mari and Sgalambro 2012:19). The dates between 125 and 135 AD (Mari and Sgalambro 2012: 19).

[Biblioteca del Palazzo Imperiale]

Palace Library


Imperial Palace

This room (31) was 7.5 m square and was designed as a personal library for the emperor with niches along the walls for shelves to hold the book rolls (see L. Bruce, "Palace and Villa Libraries," The Journal of Library History 21 [1986] 510-552 at 526-529). Steps were provided along the walls to make it possible to access texts high up the wall. This elegant room had an opus sectile pavement and white parietal marble. Opposite the entrance stood a statue. It dates to the first phase (118-125 CE). There is a fine reconstruction of a Roman library, partly inspired by this room, created by I. Gismondi for the Museum of Roman Civilization (Rome/EUR).

[Ninfeo del Palazzo Imperiale]

Palace Nymphaeum

Residence Fountains

Imperial Palace

Located off the southern end of the peristyle of the Imperial Palace was a large nymphaeum which represents the Hadrianic phase of a fountain in the republican villa. The Hadrianic structure features a hemicycle 8 m higher than the republican level. Like the round end of the Stadium Garden, it was a stepped structure supporting a fountain of cascades separated by plants. The water arrived from  a cistern above. One entered the Nymphaeum through a doorway (38) off the peristyle and passed through a monumental apse ending with a line of four columns. In the middle of the Nymphaeum was an area paved in opus spicatum (54) into which two oval basins (5 m long) were inserted equally offset from the main axis of the nymphaeum.  They may have contained water or plants. The Nymphaeum dates to the first phase (118-125 CE).




“Pantanello” (“bog,” “swamp”) is the name given to a swampy area behind the modern Hotel Adriano near the entrance to the archaeological park. Here, in the 18C, were discovered over forty statues, busts, reliefs, candelabra, and marble vases. It is unclear under what circumstances these works of art came to be deposited in the area of the Pantanello, which, as far as is known, contained no built features of the villa.

Padiglione di Tempe

Pavilion of Tempe

East Belvedere

This building was closely connected to the adjacent Hospitalia and Imperial Triclinium. The building's importance is suggested by the fact that its pavements are in opus sectile. The ground floor gave access to the road coming up from the Temple of Venus and on the east had a nymphaeum. The second floor was at the same level as the Imperial Triclinium and had many rooms including two one-person latrines (26-27) and a belvedere-triclinium (25) toward the east (the so-called "Valley of Tempe"). This level communicated with the access road below by means of a great staircase (28); and a second staircase led to the Hospitalia. It would thus have provided a terminus for members of the court arriving at or leaving the villa. The building dates to phase II (125-133 CE).



East-West Terrace

A large artificial terrace (230 x 96 m) which rises 15 m above the surface on its western side, this structure served two purposes. The western side (“Centum Camerelle,” or “The Hundred Chambers”) consisted of four stories of rooms with wooden floors accessible from wood balconies connected by concrete stairs. Estimates of the number of rooms varies between 125 and 200 housing from 700 to 1,500 slaves.The lowest level of rooms led to a service corridor leading all the way to the Vestibule and the baths (a distance of ca. 175 m). The rooms thus provided living quarters for the villa’s service staff. In contrast, the upper level was a quadriporticus-garden with long covered walkway delimiting a garden in whose center was a piscina. The northern branch was formed by two back-to-back colonnades divided by a high wall (ca. 9 m). An inscription records the length of the double colonnade (1450 Roman feet). Its purpose was thus to provide an all-weather space for the ambulatio, or daily walk, taken by elite Romans in the late morning or early afternoon.The quadriporticus-garden provided a secure, green area adjacent to imperial reception areas (Philosophers’ Chamber and Building with Three Exedras). The structure dates  to phase II (125-133 CE).

Piazza d’Oro

Piazza d’Oro

Water Court

One of the most luxurious complexes at the villa, it consists of four elements with floors and walls in opus sectile. On the north is the vaulted vestibule (4) and related rooms (5,6). In the center is a quadriporticus garden (7, 8, 9)  with a canal (euripus) running down the main axis.  At the south is a cenatio perhaps also hosting Hadrian’s library (18-21, 30-31, 37, 40-41) and furnished with one-person latrines (23-28) disposed around a central, oval space (17) at the end of which is a nymphaeum (22).The fourth element is a summer triclinium on the east side (12-16) overlooking the amphitheater below. The complex could be reached either from the Hall of Doric Pillars or from a tunnel (1) with an exit into the cryptoporticus running under quadriporticus (10-11). A number of statues were found here including Hypnos as well as portraits of Sabina, Marcus Aurelius, and Caracalla. The complex dates to  phase II (125-133 CE).

Tempio di Pluto


 Platform Structure

The name “Plutonium,” or “Temple of Pluto,” was proposed in the 19C by Penna. The structure, function, and date of the building have not yet been determined. Salza Prina Ricotti notes that the presence of opus sectile floors shows that it was not a utilitarian building. She also records reports by Ligorio and Penna about the find of columns here. In the absence of more study, it is not possible to date the complex.



Central Service Building

This structure had two parts: an upper level with eleven rooms facing a large garden; and a lower level with 33 rooms of utilitarian purpose such as storage rooms and perhaps dormitory rooms for the service staff. The upper rooms were lavishly decorated with walls and pavements in opus sectile, and Doric columns of cipollino marble. The building dates to phase II (125-133 CE).



West Belvedere

This structure has two levels: a lower story, square in plan with an interior octagonal rotunda preceded by a deep, arcaded porch facing west; and an upper platform on which was built a circular colonnaded structure. Communication between the two stories was by means of a ramp. The upper level afforded dramatic views of the villa and the countryside back toward Rome. It was dominated by a tholos of the Doric order. De Franceschini and Veneziano have shown that the lower level was aligned toward the setting sun on the summer solstice. The building dates to phase II (125-133 CE).



Scenic Triclinium


This structure was a monumental summer cenatio with nymphaeum set at the southern end of the Canopus. The front of the structure is dominated by a half-dome under which was constructed a semi-circular stibadium (13) on which banqueters reclined in the open air while enjoying the view of the Canopus canal in front and the cascading water of the nymphaeum behind. Inside on axis with the stibadium was a raised platform (20) used either as a dining area or a support for sculpture. Latrines were located at 9, 10, 16, and 17. Staircases (4, 12) led to terraces overlooking the Canopus. A number of Egyptian, or Egyptianizing, statues--including the god Nefertum,a bifrontal Osiris-Apis, and three priestesses now in the Vatican's Gregorian Egyptian Museum--were long thought to be from Jesuit property extending here but, after the discovery of the Antinoeion (also on land formerly owned by the Jesuits) are now situated there. The structure thus had no religious function; it dates to phase II (125-133 CE).

Piccole Terme

Small Baths

Smaller Baths

Adjacent and just east of the Vestibule are two thermal complexes, the Small and Large Baths. A recent interpretation assigns the Small Baths to high-ranking visitors and members of the court; and the Large Baths to the service staff. Be that as it may, the decor of the Small Baths, built between 121-125 CE, is more luxurious with extensive use of opus sectile on all floors, including the corridors, and there is also heavy use of parietal opus sectile. The Large Baths have less expensive mosaic flooring with black and white tesserae, and the walls are covered in plaster. The court approaches the Small Baths from the Quadriporticus to the north and entered the complex at room 2.The facade incorporates a pre-existing nymphaeum from the republican villa. Visitors came from the Vestibule and entered through 21. The apodyterium was located at 7; another may have been located at 25 for those entering at 21. Area 12 was the palestra. Rooms 6 and 23 were tepidaria; the frigidarium was located in 18; and 10, 11, 15, 16, 22-24 were hot rooms of various kinds. The staircase outside 26 to the east led down to a corridor linking the Small Baths to the lower level of the Vestibule. Corridor 17 gave the slaves access to the praefurnia; 29 was a service area. Room 8 was a latrine accommodating up to three people. The building dates to phase I (118-125 CE).

Ninfeo Stadio

Stadium Garden

Stadium Garden

Before this area was excavated by Hoffmann in the 1970s, it was thought, owing to its outline, to have been an open garden imitating the shape of a stadium, as is attested elsewhere. But archaeological investigation showed that much of the central area was filled by two pavilions (oeci) separated by a central plaza (1). In the area of the plaza were found fragments of a Niobid statue group of the same type as in the Gallery of Niobe in the Uffizi. The statues were probably erected in the south nymphaeum (area 4; see E. Diacciati, "Niobid Group," in A Theatre for Niobe [Florence 2009] 195-296; W. Geominy, "Ein Niobidenkopf," Koelner Jahrbuch 43 [2010] 267-279). The southern pavilion (3), which had six majestic Ionic columns along the long walls, was bigger: indeed, it is one of the largest covered spaces in the villa. The northern pavilion (6) had two rooms, one of which had an impluvium. Each pavilion provided views of adjacent fountains: on the south toward a semi-circular basin sitting below the south nymphaeum (4); on the north toward a long euripus (7). The northern garden was surrounded by a colonnade (8) off of which, to the north, were large rooms 9-11 and a one-person latrine (12). The complex dates to Phase I (118-125 CE).

Tempio di Apollo

[Temple of Apollo]

Circular Hall


On the east of the Academy peristyle is  the well-preserved  rotunda at 17 (the so-called “Temple of Apollo”). Traces of stucco survive on its walls. In the adjacent room 13 was found the “Doves” emblema in opus vermiculatum now in the Capitoline Museums. The large room 16, of uncertain function, also had stuccoed walls. De Franceschini and Veneziano have shown that the rooms 15, 16, and 17 are aligned to the path of the sun on the summer solstice. The building dates to Phase II (125-133 CE).

Ninfeo Fede

Nymphaeum with Temple of Venus

Doric Temple Area

The upper level of this structure, which provided vistas toward Tibur and the mountains to the east of the villa,  consisted of a semi-circular colonnade in front of which was a round temple (“tholos”) in the Doric order (Ortolani). In the middle of the cella was found a statue of Venus of the Cnidian type. Rooms off the semi-circular colonnade had floors in opus sectile.  It is unclear whether the various works of sculpture found by the 18C owner of the property (Conte Giuseppe Fede) came from this or adjacent parts of the villa. They include busts, herms, a Discobolus, as well as two statues and one statue group representing Apollo. Beyond offering a panoramic view of the landscape, the function of the area is unclear. It could have been used for meals or relaxation (Ortolani, p. 137). Y dates the upper level of the second phase (125-133 CE). The lower levels constituted a cryptoporticus dug into the tuff and date to the time of the republican villa. A swimming pool (natatio) was located at the ground level. Some fine stucco ceilings survive. The lower and upper parts were connected by stairways.

Edificio con Tre Esedre

Building with Three Exedras

Arcaded Triclinium

This magnificent structure has two distinct parts. The western section abuts the Pecile, from which it can be entered at 2 and 7. The entrance on the north was dominated by a large, rectangular fountain around which were found twelve statue bases. Someone entering at 7 could see along the axis through the large hall beyond (1) to a niche with a raised platform that supported another statue. Off the hall at 1 were three garden exedra.  The eastern and western exedras had sculpture in the center of the plantings.  The eastern section of the structure (rooms 8-14) abuts the Stadium Garden, which can be entered from colonnade 15 and viewed through windows around the statue niche of room 8. Rooms 8-14 are raised on suspensurae; the walls and floors were in opus sectile. The suspensurae were connected by a tunnel  to praefurnia under the Quadriporticus. This part of the building was probably a cenatio, or dining hall. Atop this wing of the building was a roof terrace paved in opus spicatum and white mosaic. The building dates to phase I (118-125 CE).



Central Vestibule

The entrance to the villa for important visitors arriving by horse or wheeled conveyance. The structure consists of a central staircase bringing the visitor from the road below to an entry peristyle culminating in an apse on the southern side. Off this is a small courtyard with a temple to the right (west); to the left (east) is a great hall on axis with the Canopus and Serapaeum,, beyond which is a curved peristyle connecting the Vestibule to the Large and Small Baths. On the east side, the Vestibule has a lower level with subterranean service corridors providing access to the Cento Camerelle and the praefurnia (furnaces) of the Large and Small Baths. The building dates to phase II (125-133 CE).

Vestibule of the Accademia

Reverse-Curve Pavilion


For those arriving at the Academy from Roccabruna, this structure (1) was the point of arrival. It had stuccoed walls and opus sectile pavements. Here were found the Young and Old Centaurs now in the Capitoline Museums. From the vestibule one passed into a large peristyle (10) around which were rooms on the north and east sides as well as a cryptoporticus on the west.

Edificio con Peschiera

Building with Fish Pond [Winter Palace]

Peristyle Pool Building

This is a large complex on three levels. Its floors and walls in opus sectile, the use of suspensurae to heat the spacious rooms 14-19 on the top floor, the presence of one-person latrines (20, 21), its easy communication with the Baths of the Heliocaminus and the Stadium Garden, as well its location near the Imperial Palace all suggest that the building was used as the emperor's residence during cold weather (hence the name sometimes given it of "Winter Palace"). Room 16 could hold large numbers of people for receptions or meals. 18 has been interpreted as the emperor's bedroom. If Adembri and Cinque are correct, rooms 14-19 may also have been cooled in the summer by an innovative technology, in which case the palace could have been used all year (B. Adembri, G. Cinque, "Edifico con peschiera," Lazio e Sabina 6 [2010] 47-56, especially pp. 52-53). The evidence is a furnace in the south corner of 8 that may be connected by to two windows on the second level of the western facade of the building. The theory is that this furnace drew air through the windows under the floors of rooms 14-19 above, thereby lowering their temperatures. Unfortunately, evidence for part of the airway connecting the furnace to the windows is only hypothetical (see Adembri and Cinque 2010: 54, figure 15), so the ingenious theory remains unproven. Other reception rooms were located in the center of the lowest level off the Stadium Garden. The quadrangle (2) around a large pool (length: 28 m) decorated with statues in the 24 niches attest that the building was used in the warm months both for swimming and, below in the cool cryptoporticus, for walks. The pool was surrounded by a colonnade composed of forty fluted white marble columns in the composite order. The structure dates to phase II (125-133 CE).