Built by Alessandro Sforza, the villa was called this way because its first stone was laid in January 1452 by emperor Frederic III, who was passing by Pesaro. Building ended in 1469, as is recalled by the inscription on the portal, near the coat of arms bearing the shield and the imperial eagles. The Villa stands on the southern slopes of St. Bartolo Hill, on the left side of the valley of the Foglia river, and even though it was meant to be an out of town “place of delight”it kept such formal features, typical of the defensive architecture, as merlon crownings (later removed) and turrets.
If the architectural structure is amazing, as much exceptional is the extraordinary plant life linked to the villa. It is divided into three sections: the wood surrounding the estate, the blooming lawn marking the entrance, and the garden inside the “Imperiale Nuova”(“New Imperial”) whose construction, entrusted to Girolamo Genga, was promoted by Eleonora Gonzaga, the wife of a member of the Della Rovere family (who had succeeded the Sforzas). This environment consists of a terraced garden, the first in the region lying on several levels, precisely the two highest ones out of the three the space of the great inner court consists of. Citrus trees were some of the first ones planted in the gardens. After the extinction of the Della Rovere family, the villa changed several hands and the gardens deteriorated. In the XVIII century the villa passed to the Albani family, who performed a wide restoration. The currently existing gardens are the result of free reconstructions performed by counts Albani between the XIX and the XX century. The lower court shows nowadays a few blossoming flowerbeds; on the first terrace there are lemon tree espaliers and boxwood flowerbeds; the upper garden is instead divided into sixteen hedged flowerbeds, inside which further sections have been created whose shape echoes the vaults and decorations of the loggia in the lower court. Even though they cannot be compared to the original green environments, today’s gardens are all the same very evocative.