The official history of the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Rome. Originially built in the sixteenth century as a summer house for German Jesuits, Villa Taverna is built over sixth-century Etruscan tunnels and Early Christian catacombs. Remodeled as a suburban retreat in the late nineteenth century by architect Carlo Busiri Vici, the elegant house and its extensive garden have hosted eighteen U.S. Ambassadors since 1933, playing an important role in building the relationship between the United States and Italy.