Villa Albani Torlonia and its collections of ancient masterpieces were laid out according to a precise ground plan: statues, bas-reliefs and fountains – ensconced between the various buildings and gardens of the villa – rise like a vast architectural complex, in a choral composition of environments, landscapes and works of art that ‘live’ here as if forever waiting to be rediscovered. The classicist dream of Cardinal Alessandro Albani (1692–1779), who promoted the growing neoclassical movement thanks to the ‘Cenacle of Villa Albani’ – which included talents of the likes of Giovanni Battista Nolli, Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Johann Joachim Winckelmann – was preserved thanks to the Torlonia Family,who purchased the Villa in 1866, enlarging the collection and the gardens and restoring the most important cardinal residence of the eighteenth century, where in 1870 the Capture of Rome from the Papal States was signed.
Villa Albani Torlonia is a vast architectural complex built in the mid-18th century by architect C.. Marchionni (1702-1786) on an expanse of countryside planted with vines, levelled out following the water supply, by means of slopes and terracing. One of the highest expressions of the antiquarian taste for which Rome became the privileged destination of the Grand Tour, the project was created to house the prestigious collection of antiquities of Cardinal Alessandro Albani (1692-1779) from the fruitful dialogue with G.B. Piranesi (1720-1778), with the great engraver and cartographer G.B. Nolli (1701-1756) for the design of the garden, with A.Strigini for the fountain system and with 'the father' of art history, J.J.Winckelmann (1717-1768), librarian and confidant of the cardinal for the arrangement of the collection. A narrative inspired by ancient themes, designed through "emotional paths" to educate the visitor, whose gaze sweeps from the Sabine Mountains to the Alban Hills, following the two main perspective axes along which the park is divided: from the wood of tall trees and ancient domestic pines, along eight avenues of holm oaks leading to the large and geometrically ordered parterre. The inscription in bronze letters on the façade tells the story: "Alexander Albani vir eminentissimus instruxit et ornavit / Alexander Torlonia vir princeps in melius restituit" (The most eminent Alexander Albani built and adorned / Prince Alexander Torlonia restored and embellished).