VILLA ROMANA DEL CASALE
The Villa Romana del Casale is one of Sicily’s and Piazza Armerina’s most renowned archeological sites. With its 3500 square meters of floor mosaics, it is a testament to the customs and traditions of Roman times. This excavation is believed to be one of the most beautiful in the world, so much so that it was recognized by UNESCO and included in the list of “world Heritage” sites.
The Villa del Casale was the hunting residence of Massimilian Erculeo, however it was also inhabited during Arab times and was partially destroyed by the Normans. Later a mudslide originating in mount Mangone, which overlooks the villa, covered it almost completely. The site was brought to light in its entirety in the 1950’s.
The Villa is known the world over due to the perfect preservation of its floor mosaics and due to their indescribable beauty and uniqueness.
Built during Roman times by North African workers, it is divided in this fashion:
- the residential part located around a great elliptical central peristyle or Xistus;
- a ceremonial area with elliptical peristyle or Xistus;
- the great formal dining room or Triclinium, characterized by three apses, one central and two lateral;
- a complex of thermal baths with a dynamic planimetric structure;
- the entrance courtyard-portico, with an irregular plan.
Undoubtedly, what amazed tourists most was the immense carpet of floor mosaics which make of the Villa an inestimable gem in the history of art.
The magnificent floor mosaics and the depictions of epic mythological scenes: scenes of everyday life, faithful reproductions of animals, plants, the hunt.
One of the Villa’s most renowned rooms is the Room with the ten girls in bikinis, the famous erotic scene, and the Great hunt which depicts the capture of ferocious animals destined to the circus.
Two aqueducts, fountains, the thermal area, the servant’s quarters and the storehouses were discovered outside.
All this to help you realize that the Villa Romana was a veritable imperial complex.