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Mandela was the name of a Roman village also mentioned by Horace in a letter, in which he said he was close to his villa, that had been given by Maecenas, in the land of the Sabines, north of Tivoli.

Actually Mandela has changed names many times and for a time was known as Cantalupo while in the proceedings of the papal bureaucracy it is reported as Bardella.

Its geographical position allowed it to control the valley towards the ancient Sannio (Abruzzo), where the Saracens attacked merchants and pilgrims. This position has been exploited from the Abbey of Farfa rival to that of Subiaco.

During the pontificate of Celestine III (1191-1197) and Cantalupo and Bardella were pledged to the Orsini, succeeded by the Nunez from 1659 with the title of Marquis. They were responsible for the construction of the church of San Vincenzo in the village, where their tombs are kept.

Towards the mid-nineteenth century Giulia Bonaparte gave birth here to a literary salon frequented by artists, painters and intellectuals.