The Imperial Domus is situated on the ground floor of a small nineteenth century rural construction built within the wall and the rooms of an ancient Roman domus you can still see. The “villa” dates back to the first century B.C and it is said to have belonged to Marcius Philippus, emperor Octavius Augustus’ stepfather.
According to Erasmo Gesualdo, historian and researcher in the 18th century, the ruins you can see in the Reception area and lounge room of the hotel belonged to Marcius Philippus’ house.
In one of his texts he wrote the following:
‘Go past Flacca road, along Arcella beach, a few steps from there on your left you will find the wonderful ruins of the famous Domus belonged to Marcius Philippus, Atia’s spouse. She was Atio Balba Caesonia and Julia’s daughter. Marcius Philippus married Atia after her husband Octavius had died. Atia and Octavius had a son, Octavius Augustus. Thus, since Philippus lived there it is likely that Augustus grew up in the area of the Pontine Marshes, because of its climate, as Ciceronis mentioned in his letters’.
Therefore, Erasmo Gesualdo believed that the great emperor Octavius Augustus spent his childhood and adolescence where the gardens and the buildings of the ‘Villa Irlanda Grand Hotel’ are currently situated especially for the wild, healthy climate of this area.