How to get to the Villa of Horace (Villa di Orazio)
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Last changed: Jan. 1, 2002
BY CAR. The easiest way to reach the site is by car. It should take you about 60-90 minutes from the center of Rome, depending on traffic.
MapQuest's Europe page can give you exact driving directions from your point of departure. Click here to get a sample MapQuest list of driving directions to Licenza from Piazza Barberini in the middle of Rome.
Some driving tips: When you drive away from Rome, look for signs to the "G.R.A.", which means "Grande Raccordo Anulare" (the ring road around Rome). Get onto the G.R.A. and follow the signs to the Autostrada A-24 (in the direction of L'Aquila; exit 14). Once you are on the A-24, getting to Licenza is relatively easy. You stay on the road for about 20 minutes (passing by the Tivoli and Castel Madama exits) until you reach the Vicovaro/Mandela exit.
After paying the modest toll at the booth (the equivalent of about $1.75 in the period 1997-2002), you simply follow the signs for Licenza, which is down the Via Licinese (State Highway 314). About 6.3 kilometers (4 miles) down the road, you come to the spot on the Via Licinese where you see the big, brown sign on the right, indicating that to reach the ruins you should turn left and go up the road to the parking lot.
Note that it is very easy to reach the Villa from Hadrian's Villa (Villa Adriana, circled in blue in the map above) just south of Tivoli. Just follow the signs from Hadrian's Villa to the A-24. Get onto the road in the direction of L'Aquila, exit at Vicovaro/Mandela, and within 20 -30 minutes, you will be at Horace's Villa.
BY BUS. For those on a low budget, an alternative to driving is to take a bus from Rome to Licenza on the COTRAL busline, which has several buses each day in either direction and a stop at the turn-off for the Villa from the Via Licinese. You find the COTRAL Rome-Licenza bus at the metro station "Rebibbia" (B-line) on the Via Tiburtina.Buses leave all day approximately every 30 minutes. For details about the bus schedule and point of departure, please call: Tel. (0774) 85526 . The total price from Rome to Licenza should be about USD$3. But allow plenty of time!
BY TRAIN. Finally, it is also possible (if a bit complicated) to take a train to Tivoli or Mandela from Stazione Termini or from the Stazione Tiburtina in Rome.More trains run from the Tiburtina station, and more trains stop at Tivoli than at Mandela. From Tivoli, you'll have to call a taxi to take you to the site (approximate cost: $20). Be sure to arrange for the driver to pick you up at the end of your visit to take you back to the Tivoli station! There is no taxi service in Mandela, so you will have to take a COTRAL bus to Licenza or walk (allow one hour for the walk). For a schedule of trains, see the excellent Web site of the Ferrovie dello Stato.
HOURS. The site is open from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. On Mondays the site is closed to the public. The museum in the Orsini Castle in Licenza is open from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. every day except Monday. Admission to the museum and archaeological site is free.
FOOD. There is no restaurant or snack bar at the villa, so bring a picnic or else plan to drive another 7-8 minutes up to the lovely town of Licenza, where you can have lunch at the acclaimed restaurant, Il Fiocco. Closer to the site is the restaurant Il Boschetto, which you will see off the right side of the Via Licinese on your way from the site to the town. If you have an extra 30 minutes (by car), take a detour to nearby Cineto Romano, where there is an excellent restaurant called L'Uliveto (Via XV Novembre; tel. 0774 928.000). Cineto is located off the Via Valeria Tiburtina, past the autostrada entrance in the direction of Subiaco. Specialties of the region include fettucine ai funghi porcini and abbacchio.
LODGING. There are no hotels that can be recommended in the Licenza area. For visitors wishing to stay very close to the site we highly recommend renting a furnished house from a very friendly UK ex-pat, John Fort. Mr. Fort own two houses that are just a couple of minutes' walk or drive from the site. One has a swimming pool, and both are clean and pleasantly furnished. The excavators of The Horace's Villa Project stayed in Mr. Fort's houses each year from 1997 to 2000 and were always impressed by his hospitality. For further information, send Mr. Fort an e-mail message by clicking here.
There are hotels in every category in the Tivoli area. Researchers connected with our project have enjoyed staying at the Hotel Sirene (Piazza Massimo 4; tel.  330-605; fax  330-608), which has the advantage of being near both the train station and a municipal parking lot. The restaurant L'Uliveto in Cineto Romano (Via XV Novembre; tel. 0774 928.000) offers decent rooms with private bath for a reasonable price. The drive from Tivoli or Cineto Romano to the archaeological site will take about 20-30 minutes.
OTHER ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES TO VISIT NEARBY. Horace's Villa is located in the middle of a territory rich in Roman remains. Amateur archaeologists can click here for a map showing all the major archaeological sites in the area of Tivoli-Licenza-Subiaco.
Check out the Licenza Web site for more practical information about the area.
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