Hadrian’s Villa Reborn: Stadium Garden
This virtual tour presents the Stadium Garden. âStadium Gardenâ is the modern name for a major complex at Hadrianâ™s Villa that, despite what we conventionally call it, was neither a stadium nor a garden. Instead, it consisted of structures used in warm weather to host imperial audiences, receptions, dinner parties, and ambulationes. The virtual tour takes you back in time to the 130s CE so that you can visit the site reconstructed as it appeared late in the reign of Hadrian. Along the way, you can also go up into the air to see the villa in the context of the enchanting landscape of the Tivoli area.
Your guide is Prof. Bernard Frischer, Director of the Digital Hadrianâ™s Villa Project. As you follow your curiosity and explore the highly accurate 3D reconstruction, you can play audio tracks in which Prof. Frischer explains what you are seeing and how the place was used in Hadrianâ™s day. Learn about imperial audiences, the imperial court, the Praetorian Guard, what went on at the emperorâ™s private banquets, and the Roman elite habit of the ambulatio. Understand how the Romans cleverly designed the rooms to be airy and cool during the heat of summer. Visit the emperorâ™s very own private dining room, and see the impressive North Hall, South Hall, the lovely North Garden with its surrounding peristyle. The dining room was used at night, so we even let you see how enchanting the complex becomes when lit by the artificial light of lamps, candelabra, and torches.
If art interests you, this is the right tour for you. On it, you will learn about herms, oscilla, wall painting in the age of Hadrian, and, especially, sculpture. You will see an impressive array of statues, ranging from the 16 statues illustrating the tragic story of Niobe in the South Nymphaeum to the only known sculpture gallery at the villa, which was housed in the North Hall. Here you can see such famous statues from Hadrianâ™s Villa as Endymion (now in Stockholm), Cupid and Psyche (now in San Antonio, Texas), the Pasquino Group (fragments of which are in the Vatican Museums), and the Sandal Binder (now in Copenhagen). All the statues have been painstakingly restored, even down to the color used to paint the white marble.
Anyone who takes Flyover Zoneâ™s virtual tour of the Stadium Garden comes away knowing far more about it than even a visitor to the actual archaeological site, now reduced to a grassy field. If you are planning to go to Tivoli to see the villa, you will get more out of your visit after taking Flyover Zoneâ™s virtual tour. And, since the virtual tour runs not only on PCs and VR headsets but also on smart phones (Android and iOS), you can easily take the virtual tour with you when you go to the archaeological park!