The Casale district is around 6 km from the town of Piazza Armerina. The ruins of the Villa Romana were discovered in the 17th century by some farmers tending to plots of land in the valley of the river Gela, on the slopes of Monte Mangone, also known as “the fortress”.
The farmers noticed some masonry structures emerging from the ground, which would later be identified as the ruins of the Villa Romana. At the time, historian Giovanni Paolo Chiarandà wrote a book dedicated to the History of Piazza Armerina, which was published in 1654.
The book included news of the findings: “At the foot of a high mountain, Mangone, you can see ruins of houses, whose name is unknown: the Piazzesi call it ‘Casale dei Saraceni’”.
This is where the name of the Villa Romana came from, which was called Villa Romana del Casale di Piazza Armerina.