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.

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

The senses tell the Basilica

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

A day of hunting at the villa

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

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

The Latifundium

The main nuclei of the Domus

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

The possible celebration of a solemn event

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

A small room embellished with marble

Worship of the Lares

An eloquent symbol: the signum

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

Form of greeting or ritual?

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

The catalogue of animals

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

Semi-public rooms

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

Outdoor breakfast

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

A hidden meaning

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

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

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

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

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

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

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

The senses tell the Vestibule

The protagonists of the mosaics

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

The public and private rooms of the villa

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

The rural sacrifice

The apotheosis of Hercules

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

The senses tell the monumental entrance

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

The senses tell the frigidarium

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

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

The senses tell the massage room

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

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