A Jacobite Gazetteer - Lazio

Albano Laziale - Palazzo Savelli

The town of Albano Laziale is located on the shores of Lake Albano some 25 kilometres south of Rome. It is only about two kilometres south of Castel Gandolfo, where the popes have had their summer residence for many years.

The Palazzo Savelli was formerly owned by the Apostolic Camera (an office of the Holy See). It was loaned by Pope Clement XI to King James III and VIII to serve as his summer residence (i.e. for his villeggiatura). The palace lies in the middle of the town of Albano. It's description by some authors as a "country residence" is somewhat misleading.

Front Facade
Facade on Piazza Constituente
Rear Facade
Facade on Via Giacomo Matteotti

James' regular annual routine (except for the last few years of his life) was to move to Albano in May; the Cardinal Duke of York (later King Henry IX and I) accompanied him for many years. "The king and the cardinal returned to Rome for every St. Peter's Day [i.e. June 29], and remained in town until September, when they would return to Albano for six weeks or so." 1 In 1742 Pope Benedict XIV visited King James here. 2 At the death of King James in 1766, his son King Charles III lived frequently in Palazzo Albano rather than in Rome itself. 3 The palace continued to be used by King Charles III when he returned to Rome in 1785. 4

Interior Staircase
Interior Staircase
Cavalcavia across Piazza Constituente

The square on either side of the palace was formerly called Piazza del Re (i.e. King's Square); 5 today it is called Piazza Constituente. A bridge corridor, or cavalcavia, projects from the facade of the palace and connects it to a separate house in the former Via del Plebiscito where the royal household was lodged. 6

Today the palace serves as the Palazzo Municipale (town hall).

Casa del Consiglio
Sala del Consiglio


1 Alice Shield and Andrew Lang, The King Over the Water (London: Longmans, Green, 1907), 442.

2 Amy Vittelischi, A Court in Exile (London: Hutchison, 1903), I, 150. Vitteleschi says that the palace "had been further decorated and made more commodious for [James] by Benedict XIV".

3 Frank McLynn, Charles Edward Stuart: A Tragedy in Many Acts (London: Routledge, 1988), 484.

4 McLynn, 549.

5 Vitteleschi, I, 150. In 1903 Vitteleschi says that "Piazza del Re" was the "name that [the square] holds to this day". I do not know when the change to the present name occurred.

6 Vitteleschi, I, 150.

Image 1 (Facade on Piazza Constituente): © Noel S. McFerran 2002.

Image 2 (Facade on Via Giacomo Matteotti): © Noel S. McFerran 2002.

Image 3 (Interior Staircase): © Noel S. McFerran 2002.

Image 4 (Cavalcavia across Piazza Constituente): © Noel S. McFerran 2002.

Image 5 (Sala del Consiglio): http://www.comune.albanolaziale.roma.it.

This page is maintained by Noel S. McFerran (noel.mcferran@rogers.com) and was last updated July 17, 2005.
© Noel S. McFerran 2000-2005.