The name of Albano is intimately linked to that of the important city of Alba Longa, born before Rome and for years at the head of the Latin League, a group of cities that tried to oppose the advance of Rome.
The area was then inhabited by the Latins and the birth of Alba Longa is told by Virgil in the Aeneid. It is said that the city was founded by Ascanio, the son of Enea, exactly thirty years after the founding of Lavinio.
According to this legend, a white sow appeared in a dream to Enea and indicated the place where to found the city of Lavinio. On this place the sow gave birth to 30 little piglets that represented the years that separated from the foundation of the city of Alba Longa. According to others, these 30 little pigs represented the 30 cities that would later become part of the Latin League against Rome.
The first king Albano was said to have been a Trojan and the dynasty continued for many centuries until the famous king Numintore who was expelled by his brother Amulius. But a prophecy had predicted to Amulius that he would be killed by a descendant of Numintore. Then Amuleus took Rea Silva, the only daughter of Numintore and made her become a Vestal priestess and make the vow of chastity.
But Rea Silva betrayed the oath and mated with the god Mars and became pregnant with twins. To save the lives of her children, she put them in a basket and entrusted them to the waters of the Tiber river. The basket ran aground on a cove near the Palatine Hill and the twins were raised by a she-wolf and then by pastor Faustolo and his wife Acca Larenzia.
When they grew up, their story beacme known and the twins returned to Alba Longa to put their grandfather back on the throne. Then they founded a new city that took the name Rome.
The power of Rome grew so much that in the seventh century in its expansion it clashed with Alba Longa and initially the two cities decided not to fight but to have their fate decided by relying on a competition of their three best warriors.
Thus was born the dispute between the three Orazi brothers of Rome against the three Curiazi brothers of Alba Longa. The history tells us that it was won by the Romans, and the tomb of the Orazi and Curiazi is still visible in the current Albano Laziale.
Afterwards, Alba Longa betrayed the agreement with Rome and tried to align the cities of the Latin League to fight it. The Romans with their king Tullus Hostilius won in the battle of Fidene in 673 BC and razed Alba Longa to the ground but this has not yet been identified.
The white sow accompanied by the words mater Urbis, however, is still found today on the coat of arms of the city of Albano Laziale to remember its legendary origins as the mother of Rome.
The Romans have always called the area Albanum, that where the current Albano Laziale and Ager Albanus are located, the surrounding area that they recognized as the place where once stood Alba, Rome’s mother.