The thermal baths

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

The thermal bath areas that can be accessed from the passage area of the biapsidal hall start from the frigidarium, a space dedicated to cold baths, with an octagonal plan around which is arranged a Corinthian order colonnade that would have supported the trabeation and a dome, probably with an opening in the centre, which let in rainwater. All the walls of the frigidarium were lined with marble crustae , which also denoted its public use.
The healing and invigorating baths took place in the two swimming pools to the north and south used for swimming and immersion respectively.The elegance of the thermal bath environment is shown not only in the rich architectural structure and coverings, but also in the mosaics that adorn the floor of the octagon, enlivened by a brightly coloured marine thiasos with mermen, nereids and fisherman erotes.The fantastic mythological scene is enclosed by six apsidal niches with realistic themed depictions of mutatio vestis, or changing of clothes.

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

The possible celebration of a solemn event

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

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

Form of greeting or ritual?

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

The senses tell the Basilica

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

The senses tell the massage room

The main nuclei of the Domus

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

Outdoor breakfast

A hidden meaning

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

A day of hunting at the villa

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

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

Semi-public rooms

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

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

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

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

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

The apotheosis of Hercules

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

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

A small room embellished with marble

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

The Latifundium

An eloquent symbol: the signum

The senses tell the frigidarium

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

Worship of the Lares

The protagonists of the mosaics

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

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

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

The rural sacrifice

The catalogue of animals

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

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

The senses tell the monumental entrance

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

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

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

The public and private rooms of the villa

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

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

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

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

The senses tell the Vestibule