In 1793, the architect from Bologna Angelo Venturoli started to build a sumptuous residence for the line of princes of the Hercolani family in Strada Maggiore 45, and it was completed in the early 19th century. After moving to Bologna from Faenza in the 15th century, this lineage of doctors at law accumulated considerable wealth owing to their haberdasher business, and held high offices in the city's government until they were invested with the title of 'princes of the Holy Roman Empire'. In the design, the architect recovered clear classic forms of the 16th century architectural tradition that can be seen, for example, in the façade, while baroque taste and theatrics reverberates in the staircase of honour, the last monumental grand staircase built in Bologna. G. De Maria was commissioned the sculptural decoration, while the vault by F. Pedrini overhead depicts the apotheosis of Hercules. In collaboration with F. Minozzi, Pedrini also executed the hall of honour - today Aula Ruffilli - on the first floor with the allegory of 'Apollo and the Hours', set inside a monochrome scenario of false architecture animated by harpies, genii, medallions and four busts of 'modern' poets, including Dante. Also worthy of note are two halls decorated with chinoiserie by V. Armani and D. Zanotti, while many other artists contributed to the decoration of the following rooms, including Frulli, Busatti and Basoli. The Boschereccia (woodland) painted in 1810 by R. Fantuzzi in a room with curved walls that gives on to the magnificent winter garden by Martinelli is particularly full of charm.