Romitello’s history is closely linked to that of Rome. Where the Residence and park are today once stood various properties, sumptuous residences and country houses. Among them “Il Romitello”, “Sacre Coeur House” (Villa del “Sacro Cuore”) and “Marcella House” (Villa Marcella). The latter, due to deterioration, was demolished in the 60’s in order to build a new property which had to meet the demands of a city in the midst of great urban expansion, as was Rome during that era. That building is the current Residence.
During the last world war, “Il Romitello” was inhabited by a German family, who for security reasons, had two underground tunnels built. One of them leads from “Romitello” to a well in the middle of the property, the other links this well to “Sacre Coeur” House. Today, you can walk through both tunnels.
In the 50’s, the Congregation of Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Castres decided to buy a piece of land in order to establish the “Generalicia House” of the Congregation, thus honoring in May 1853 an express wish of the founder and the Holy See to improve ecclesiastical relations with the Congregation. As time passed, the purchase of the property was completed.
The Congregation was founded in 1836 by Emilie de Villeneuve, son of the French nobility. His vocation was to follow Jesus Christ and to serve the poor, the needy and those who were suffering. He also made sure that all the activities of the Congregation, directly or indirectly, had this as a purpose.