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The villa Sarsina was built by Cardinal Neri Maria Corsini, nephew of Pope Clement XII, in 1735 when he had become Protector of the Port. It was probably built on the ruins of the temple of Hercules, who was the god of the city before Fortuna Anziatina. In its basement a niche was found with a mosaic of the god with a club.

The fortune of the villa is however due to the family Aldobrandini Principi di Sarsina, from which the current name came, who were the owners between 1874 and 1926.

During these years the famous statue of the Fanciulla di Anzio was found still intact on a pedestal in a niche of the imperial villa.

For some years Anzio became a centre of attraction for all the lovers of archaeology and ancient art who robbed her of numerous works of art, such that King Umberto was forced to buy the Fanciulla di Anzio at a high price. Finally, in 1909, the State promulgated a law which sanctioned the public ownership of all archaeological finds.

The villa was then the seat of the German command during the war and was looted till finally it hosted some displaced citizens of Anzio.



Traveller's Guide to Italy