Villa Aldobrandini in the Napoleonic period when it was owned by General Miollis (from 1811 to 1816).
At the end of the 18th Century the Italian peninsula, notwithstanding its economic, cultural and artistic potential, was dominated by a foreign power as the numerous States in which it was divided had failed to unify. France annexed Rome in 1798, created the Cisalpine Republic and deported Pope Pius VII. F.A. Sextius Miollis, a general in the army of Napoleon I and Governor of the Roman States, acquired Villa Aldobrandini in 1811 from Francesco Borghese-Aldobrandini and trasformed it into a pleasure palace in an attempt to promote the contemporary French "empire" style. Miollis had the Villa renovated and used it to house his vast collection of over 400 paintings, in his way renewing the former collecting efforts of the Aldobrandini family. He also had the garden adorned with 456 statues and several fountains while the upper story of the pavillion-tower designed by Lambardi which had served as an entrance to the garden was transformed into a coffee-house. Miollis’ sojourn in Rome lasted only five years, after which his collection of art works was dispersed and the general stripping of the villa and garden began.