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.

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

The senses tell the Vestibule

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

Semi-public rooms

The protagonists of the mosaics

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

The Latifundium

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

Outdoor breakfast

The rural sacrifice

An eloquent symbol: the signum

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

The possible celebration of a solemn event

The public and private rooms of the villa

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

Form of greeting or ritual?

A hidden meaning

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

The catalogue of animals

The senses tell the monumental entrance

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

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

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

A day of hunting at the villa

The senses tell the Basilica

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

The apotheosis of Hercules

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

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

The senses tell the massage room

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

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

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

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

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

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

The main nuclei of the Domus

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

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

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

Worship of the Lares

A small room embellished with marble

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

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

The senses tell the frigidarium

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