Before starting our tour of Monticello, I'd like to give you some historical facts that might help you appreciate what you see today even more.
Monticello was the very much loved home of Thomas Jefferson for over fifty years.
Jefferson, who was, of course, President, was also a great reader and language enthusiast.
He read widely on different subjects, including architecture.
He wasn't formally trained in architecture, but as a result of his study and observation of other buildings, he was able to help design and build the house.
He chose the site himself, naming the estate "Monticello," which means "little mountain" in Italian.
In fact, many of the ideas behind the design also came from the Italian architect Andrea Palladio, who lived in the sixteenth century and who had a great influence on the architecture of England.
Jefferson, however, ignored one of Palladio's principles, that is, not to build in a high place.
Monticello's elevation made the transportation of what was needed at the house—for example, food—especially difficult.
But the view from the estate would not be as spectacular if Jefferson had followed Palladio's advice;
there really is no boundary between the house and the nature around it, and so Jefferson was able to look out on his beloved state of Virginia from his wonderful vantage point.
Now we'll go on to Jefferson's library.