Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Villa Romana del Casale, 1

The great Roman villa in Sicily's interior, near Piazza Amerina, was closed when we visited in 2011, and thus seeing it was our highest priority for 2018. It is another World Heritage Site and is the largest and greatest of all known Roman mosaic sites...a 40,000 square foot villa, every inch of which is paved in some of the most extensive and exquisite mosaics of the ancient world. The villa dates from the early 4th century, AD, when Sicily's interior consisted of a number of large agricultural estates. The owner/builder of the Villa Romana de Casale is unknown, although there are as usual many conjectures...a senator, a governor, perhaps a member of the imperial family? In any case, the villa suffered from the Vandals and Visigoths as they plundered Sicily and then was buried in a landslide in the 12th century. And forgotten. Serious excavation and research did not occur until the 20th century. One views the mosaics from outside some of the rooms or, mostly, from extensive cat-walks that have been constructed above. All the principal mosaics now have been roofed-over and protected. We were there three hours, and I took 350 pix!

The place is huge, and although the architecture is of interest, it's mostly the
mosaics that are so impressive
One of two sets of baths

The usual Roman HVAC

About bathing

On to the interiors

Rebuilt latrine

An atrium

Its ambulatory pave all around with animal portraits


The woman in the middle is thought by some to be the Domina

Abstract designs account for much of Roman mosaics, and the Villa Romano
has its share...but not more than about 20% I'd guess


Autumn, I think

Deer hunt; these are large full rooms

A day at the races
Fishing scene

Employee relations

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