The town probably derives its name from Domitian’s villa, Villa Albana. Monuments worthy of note include the church of Santa Maria della Rotonda. The church has been restored to its original brick appearance and has a bold Romanesque bell-tower (13C). The town has also preserved part of an old Roman gate, the Porta Pretoria (return to Via Cavour, then turn into Via A. de Gasperi).
These ruins were once the entrance gate to a fortress built by Septimius Severus (193-211). The Villa Communale (Piazza Mazzini) is a huge public garden displaying vestiges of a villa which belonged to Pompey (106-48 BC).Castel Gandolfo On the edge of a crater now filled by Lake Albano stands Castel Gandolfo, famous worldwide as the summer residence of the Pope. Alba Longa ,the site of Ancient Alba Longa has been identified as that of Castel Gandolfo. It was the oldest town in Latium founded, according to legend, c 1150 BC. Its rivalry with Rome led to the famous battle between the Horatii and the Curiatii. Tired of fighting a costly war, the two cities decided to settle their differences by single combat between three Roman brothers, the Horatii, and three Alban brothers, the Curiatii. At the first encounter two of the Horatii were killed, the three Curiatii were wounded; the last of the Horatii pretended to take flight in order to separate his adversaries and then, turning, defeated them one by one. On returning to Rome, Horatius met his sister Camilla at the Capena Gate mourning her lover, one of the Curiatii, and cursing Rome, the “sole object of her resentment”. He killed her, was put on trial but acquitted.