The Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily

Posted in Europe | October 26, 2010 | 0 Comments


The Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily is said to be the symbol of Roman exploitation of the countryside. The villa is said to be the centre of the large estate; and upon this estate, the rural economy of the whole of the Western Empire was based. The villa is said to be one of the most luxurious villas of its kind. The characteristic mosaics are what make this villa so special.

Villa del Casale is said to be located around 1.8 miles from Piazza Armerina. This is part of the province of Enna which lies in Sicily, Italy. The rich villa is now said to be recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Some of the columns and the mosaics are said to have been found as early as the 19th century. The villa, however, was fully uncovered only after subsequent excavations conducted in the years 1929, 1935 and 1960.

The owner of this villa must have been a member of the upper class who was part of the Roman Empire. There are four groupings of rooms that have galleries, courts and thermal areas to go with them. The Villa Romana del Casale is said to boast of about 4200 square yards of mosaic flooring. The mastery of the art shows the III and IV century AD. The dating of the villa, based on studies, has been fixed on the 340 AD.

The most famous mosaic is said to be the ‘Bikini Room’ which is known to depict women playing sports.

During the 20s, 30s and the 40s, there were a number of excavations were carried out; and in the last excavation of the 50s – 60, the entire structure was unearthed.

The structure is made up of three layers – the lowest layer has a thermal complex and what is called the great exedra latrine. The second level has the peristyle and comprises of the areas of staying.  The third level comprises of three apses hall and the xystus on the opposite.

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