Biapsidal Hall

A chariot race, set in the circus Maximus of Rome, connects the villa to the city and centre of power

This imposing space introduced by two entrances, one to the east restricted to the family of the dominus and a second to the west, intended for the public, is distinguished from the other rooms of the villa, for its dual function of access to the different places of the thermal baths.
Observation of the wall decorations and architectural elements which evoke a place of reception, due to the coexistence of frescoes imitating marble coverings and a series of columns with Attican bases and Corinthian capitals , introduces the theme that unfolds in the floor mosaic. We appear to be witnessing a chariot race narrated meticulously in all its stages, starting from the carceres, depicted in the north apse, from which the chariots of the four factions departed in the Circus Maximus : the factio prasina (green), the russata (red), the albata (white) and the veneta (blue). The realistic and dynamic scene depicts the naufragium della factio prasina, i.e. the capsizing of the red faction chariot, and takes place in a circuit defined by the spina, a long marble basement adorned with statues and temples, completed at the two opposite ends by the metae . At the end of the seven laps of the race, the prize-giving ceremony is shown to the east, in the middle, near the threshold leading to the frigidarium. The victorious chariot belongs to the green faction, followed by the steeds and charioteers of the other factions. The triumphant charioteer is welcomed by a tuba player and a magistrate who holds the prizes: a palm branch and a bag of money.

The possible celebration of a solemn event

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

High-ranking characters depicted in the mosaics of the apsidal niches of the frigidarium

The rural sacrifice

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

A large colonnaded portico, a place of connection between the rooms

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

A day of hunting at the villa

The senses tell the Basilica

A chariot race, set in the circus Maximus of Rome, connects the villa to the city and centre of power

The golden age: hypotheses about the villa’s period of construction and clues

Auspicious symbols and perhaps the initials of the commissioner’s name decorate the mosaic of the apsidal room

The catalogue of animals

The senses tell the Vestibule

The apotheosis of Hercules

The main nuclei of the Domus

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

A small room embellished with marble

The senses tell the frigidarium

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

Is the profile of the dominus hidden among the scenes depicted in the mosaics?

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

Form of greeting or ritual?

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

The late antiquity residence: locus amoenus and centre of administrative activities in the heart of Sicily

The senses tell the massage room

The marble from the regions of the empire to decorate the basilica

The public and private rooms of the villa

The senses tell the bi-apsed ambulatory – Corridor of the “Great Hunt”

An eloquent symbol: the signum

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

A hidden meaning

The Latifundium

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

The senses tell the room in the private apartment known as “small hunt”

The senses tell the monumental entrance

The protagonists of the mosaics

The realistic depiction of a spa procession with a high-ranking female figure

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

A small room represents one of the activities of the thermal bath route

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

Banquets and panegyrics enlivened the vast hall, against the background of a floor mosaic celebrating the feats of Hercules

Outdoor breakfast

Worship of the Lares

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

Semi-public rooms

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence