Quadrangular Peristyle

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

While moving through the corridor of the quadrangular peristyle we can distinguish, especially on the southern wall, fresco writing, applied over an earlier fresco, which contains male figures inserted individually in large squares. All are standing, face on, holding two javelins and a large round shield. Our gaze cannot help but be drawn to the variety of colours and decorations that enrich it around the dark umbone , with concentric circles or pairs of segments in different shades, so much so that the characters it protects are driven to the background.

A similar exuberance in the choice of colour can be seen in the copies we have of a summary document of the civil and military organisation, probably written in the first twenty years of the 5th century AD, the Notitia dignitatum et administrationum omnium tam civilium quam militarum, of still uncertain interpretation. It contains depictions of the shield emblems of the various military units of the Eastern and Western Empires.However, the shields of the soldiers occupying the remains of the peristyle fresco do not seem to be connected to the military units shown in the Notitia. On the contrary, the fact that each warrior is distinguished by different symbols does not lead us to think of a specific military group, but a general summary of units. The presence of such an imposing guard decorating the walls certainly suggests that the master of the domus was a very important person.

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

An eloquent symbol: the signum

The apotheosis of Hercules

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

Form of greeting or ritual?

The catalogue of animals

The protagonists of the mosaics

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

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

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

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

A small room embellished with marble

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

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

Semi-public rooms

The senses tell the massage room

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

A hidden meaning

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

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

The possible celebration of a solemn event

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

The rural sacrifice

Worship of the Lares

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

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

The Latifundium

The senses tell the frigidarium

A day of hunting at the villa

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

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

The public and private rooms of the villa

The main nuclei of the Domus

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

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

Outdoor breakfast

The senses tell the monumental entrance

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

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

The senses tell the Vestibule

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

The senses tell the Basilica

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

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares