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However Prima Porta is famous above all because it is the hill where it was build one of the most famous imperial villas Livia Drusilla’s one Emperor Augustus’ wife.
The “ Villa Ad Gallinas Albas “ has an ancient history which is possible to find again mentioned it in Plinio’s, Svetonio’s and Cassio Dione’s ancient literary works. It was told that while an eagle was flying over the villa left fall down from her heels a white intense coloured hen symbol of pureness bringing in her billy-goat a twig of laurel rich in berries. The hen was bred and the laurel branch was planted. Now we have a forest of laurel. From that moment on Cesar ( Octavian ) brought in his hand a branch of laurel who used to put on his head as a crown after every won fight. Through many centuries all the Roman Emperors did that besides to plant laurel branches on the won fight field. That is why in all over Italy we have forests of laurel by the name of the Roman Emperors.

After the middle of XIX century some excavations were carried out which they brought to light some ancient ruines and objects of the Roman Empire of which one Augustus’ statue is preserved today at the Vatican Museums.

The monumental unit was articulated in two distinguished sectors: one with residential neighbourhood and a vast thermal unit, the other maybe destinated as a garden. The environments are decorated have mosaics and they are recognizable various sorts of opus. One of the greatest attractions of the villa are the decorated walls of the underground environments detached in 1951 and now preserved at the Roman National Museum in the seat of Palazzo Massimo. They represent in a fabulous scenery a luxuriant articulated garden in an alley with little exedrae at the inner of which some ornamental and fruit-bearing plants grow up. The decorated walls were discovered in 1863 together with the famous and majestic statue of the Emperor Augustus said also the “ Augustus of Prima Porta “ that is a prototype of the official Imperial portraiture.


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