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The Club

The History
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The History

  • Centuries of civilization

    The legend goes that Aeneas and his son Ascanio landed at Lavinio, founded the city of Alba Longa 1.230 years before the birth of the Roman Empire, on the western rim of the old volcanic crater that is today the basin of the Albano Lake.
    Being a nodal point for migratory herding, it is the ideal location for Alba Longa to prosper for over five centuries until Tullo Ostilio, the third king of Rome, around mid-seventh century B.C. decides to put an end to the century-old rivalry with Rome by razing Alba Longa to the ground, starting a policy that his successors will follow for all defeated people including the Etruscans and the Carthage ones.This event marks the end to any further development for Alba Longa, and the area is chosen by the Romans to build villas and residential quarters.
    The smooth and mild climate along with the beauty of the landscape, perfect for leisure and relaxation, attracts many prominent figures of the imperial and republican eras. Remains of the villas built by Clodius, Pompeius and Domitianus were found on the site.
  • The origins of Castel Gandolfo

    The ancient dominion of Alba Longa fades away during the decline of the Roman Empire and throughout the centuries of the Middle Ages until around the XI Century A.D. an aristocratic family from Genoa, the Gandolfi, settles in the area and builds a castel on top of the hill, and the village is named after them.The village takes shape as houses are built around the castle. Near the end of the XIII Century the property of the village passes then from the Gandolfi to the Savelli family and others until the year 1596, when the Apostolic Chamber pays 150,000 scudi, an enormous amount of money at that time, for the ownership of the entire estate.
    A new phase of development starts then for Castel Gandolfo as the Vatican appoints the castle as the Pontifical residential estate. In the year 1611 Pope Paolo V brings drinking water to the village. Architect Carlo Maderno builds the Papal Palace by appointment to Pope Urbano VII of the Barberini family, and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini designs the perimeter walls, builds the Church of Saint Tommaso of Villanova and the fountain in the main square. Clemens XIII builds a larger town gate and a better access road.
  • Birth of the golf course

    At the bottom of the citadel, where the hills slope down to the shores of Anzio and Nettuno, a lake, later dried, formed inside the old volcanic crater. During the Roman Imperial Age the swamp is converted into cultivable land irrigated by water from the Castel Gandolfo lake making it possible the cultivation of orchards and flower gardens.
    Robert Trent Jones designes and builds in this location our 18-hole Golf Course in full respect of the existing environment, laying the fairways within a frame of vineyards, rose gardens, mimosa, Mediterranean pines, cypress and olive trees.The Club House is now housed in the villa originally built for Cardinal in Sassia Flavio Chigi, a nephew of Pope Alessandro VII, to host a beautiful lady called "la Pavona", Italian word for a female peacock. “La Pavona” is still the name of the villa and of the place.