Alessandro Torlonia

The Pope’s Banker

  • Daniela Felisini

Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance book series (PSHF)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Daniela Felisini
    Pages 1-16
  3. Daniela Felisini
    Pages 51-73
  4. Daniela Felisini
    Pages 75-105
  5. Daniela Felisini
    Pages 107-152
  6. Daniela Felisini
    Pages 153-191
  7. Daniela Felisini
    Pages 193-222
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 223-269

About this book


This book provides a vivid biography of a towering Italian banker, pioneer and entrepreneur. It weaves the entrepreneurial ventures of Alessandro Torlonia (1800-1886) through the narratives of business and politics in the Nineteenth century, the growth of European financial markets and the decline of Papal power during the Italian Risorgimento. The discussion is founded in rigorous historical research using original sources such as the Archivum Secretum Vaticanum papers and other official documents; the archives of the Torlonia family, and of the Rothschild bank in Paris; memoirs; correspondences, and newspapers. Through this book readers learn that Alessandro Torlonia was a man of many faces, who was one of the most complex and influential characters of Italian economic life in the nineteenth century. Felisini also provides an expert critique of the financial history of the papacy: an area of heightened interest given the notoriety of relations between the Holy See and its bankers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Focal topics such as the history of European elites and the history of European financial markets will have an interdisciplinary appeal for scholars and researchers.



Archivum Secretum Vaticanum papers Rothschild Bank Entrepreneurship Leadership Papal States in 19th Century Europe Risorgimento Italian banking

Authors and affiliations

  • Daniela Felisini
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking