A medieval monastery on the site of a Roman villa
A medieval monastery grafted onto a Roman villa of the time of Caesar Augustus or before, rescued from abandon in 1879 by an Englishman newly returned to Europe from the West Indies. Add to these the well-founded belief that a frequent guest at this villa, if not one of its earliest owners, was the poet Horace; that across the ravine thunders the water of the Anio, with the temples of Vesta and the Sibyl poised above it; that all of these are on the outskirts of Tivoli, the Roman Tibur; and you are approaching something very near the heart of the civilisation that has moulded Europe for two millennia.
It is fitting that the revival of this place should have fallen to an Englishmen, because those two names, Horace and Tivoli, have a particular resonance for his countrymen. From the Middle Ages, English boys learned their reading and writing by means of Horace’s Odes and Satires, along with the works of his contemporary Virgil and other writers of the Augustan Age. Only in the late 20th century has academic education ceased to be built on these cornerstones.
Generations of Englishmen, therefore, absorbed not only Horace’s good sense and poetry but also his geography in their earliest years. Not all left it thankfully behind with their schooldays. For many, the name of Tivoli conjured up associations like that of Holywood for a cinema-fed generation. This became all the more so from the 17th century, when Englishmen first began to visit Italy in large numbers, and to carry its influence home in the most direct manner, in their paintings and their buildings and their gardens. The dramatic landscape of Tivoli appealed strongly to painters, notably the great French creators of an ideal Classical world, Claude Lorrain and Gaspard Dughet. Their English imitators, such as Richard Wilson, followed them there. Those who could not paint, such as the writer Joseph Addison, sought the places from which the best paintings might be composed, and then murmured to themselves of “Tivoli’s delightful shades, and Anio rolling in cascades”.
Frederick Searle was seeking a place to sketch the waterfall when he first saw Sant’Antonio and was told that this was “la casa di Orazio”. Not only did he make it his own home, but he encouraged scholars and archaeologists to share his discoveries. This role was carried on by his daughter Georgina, and her husband George Hallam, and then by her great-niece, Lucy d'Ailhaud Brisis. In this generation it has been Count Roger de Brisis who has taken on the care of Sant’Antonio and, with Landmark’s help, has made it possible for you to stay here.
To read the full history album for Sant'Antonio please click here.
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What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain More
A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.
Monday 13th February 2014