The Albanum near Castel Gandolfo, the residence of Domitian (81 – 96 AD), was a new kind of villa: contrary to established tradition the Emperor also carried out official business there. A team from the DAI Rome has closely examined two of the buildings, which give an idea of how the Emperor presented himself publicly.
He had a theatre built in which he celebrated the annual festival of Minerva with competitions for poets, orators and musicians, the winners receiving the wreath from his hand. The building resembled public theatres, but was splendidly furnished with marble and fountains, and with seating that did not distinguish between social classes.
At the foot of the residential area lay a 300 m long, 7 m wide corridor in which the Emperor would welcome his clientele at morning receptions (salutationes).