Villa Romana Sicily – Must See for Italy History Buffs

Villa Romana del Casale located in Piazza Armerina in the Sicilian heartland is a not-to-be missed site for all history and art enthusiasts. Covered by layers of mud for 700 years, rediscovered in 1950, and reopened in 2003 after over forty years of reconstruction, the Villa is a treasure trove of the best Roman mosaics in existence today.

It is believed to be built in Sicily in the 4th century AD by Marcus Aurelius Maximianus who was Roman co-emperor during the reign of Diocletian (286-305 AD). Even by decadent Roman standards of that time, this Villa was over-the-top sumptuous dwelling with bright glittering mosaics covering an entire floor surface. These mosaics were created in a realistic style, narrative in nature and provide a rare insight into the 3rd century Roman life style. We as visitors are granted a unique opportunity to delight in the kaleidoscope of Roman life celebrated right in front of us: from fashions, massage, and lovemaking, to hunting, sports, and transportation.

Vila Romana Sicily excavation site
At Villa Romana , excavations still going on

 

mosaic depicts chariot race in Sicily
Mosaic depicting a chariot race

 

mosaic in Villa Romana Sicily Italy
This mosaic depicting a scene on a ship is a continuation of the “Great Hunt” narrative: wild beasts are hunted, captured, and then, like this antelope, loaded on a ship bound for Rome

 

Roman girls mosaic in Sicily
The famous Villa Romana Bikini Girls continue their exercises for almost 17 centuries

 

Chariot race mosaic Sicily Roman times
Many mosaics at Villa Romana are humorous: this one depicts chariot race where chariots are pulled by various birds, like peacocks or geese

 

mosaic of fishing scene in Roman Sicily
Fishing mosaic at Villa Romana is one of many naturalistic-style depictions of various activities specific to Roman Sicily in the 4th century AD

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