© 2016

Alessandro Torlonia

The Pope’s Banker

  • Provides insight into the entrepreneurship and leadership qualities of the Pope's Banker: Alessandro Torlonia

  • Explores the Papal States in 19th century Europe

  • Based on rigorous historical research using original sources


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

  1. 1.University of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly

About the authors

Daniela Felisini is a Professor of Economic History at the University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Italy, where she holds the Jean Monnet Chair. An authority on Rome in the nineteenth century, she is the author of studies in banking and financial history, and on Italy’s financial and economic elites. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Alessandro Torlonia
  • Book Subtitle The Pope’s Banker
  • Authors Daniela Felisini
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Economics and Finance Economics and Finance (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-41997-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-82475-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-41998-5
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 269
  • Number of Illustrations 12 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Financial History
    History of Italy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking