Sacellum Larum

A small room embellished with marble

In the western portico of the quadrangular peristyle that surrounds the spaces of the inner nucleus of the late antiquity domus, there is a snug and square-shaped apsidal room used as a sacellum, attributed to the worship of the Lares, i.e. a place generally small in size marked by the presence of an altar consecrated to one or several deities. The room is inserted in the ascending path of the villa, which outlines the public and official sector, which is especially recognisable for the marble covering of the walls in the most important rooms.The room was also embellished by a marble statue group, of which few fragments remain, depicting a young Hercules together with the Ceryneian Hind.
It is possible that, at the beginning, when there was still no brickwork to close the spaces between the columns, this place had the typical aedicula shape, a structure bordered by columns and a pediment, which perhaps housed the statue of the current emperor or the master of the villa.
Only later, with the transformation into an apsidal chamber, did some scholars speculate that it might have contained the sigillum, the effigy of the ancestors of the dominus, the lares familiares, in the form of a statuette that may have been made of wax, wood or terracotta.
In addition, the discovery of a semicircular fountain under the foundations, later replaced with the sacellum, perhaps an afterthought of the commissioner, supports the hypothesis that the main entrance of the villa originally coincided with the vestibule.

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

The public and private rooms of the villa

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?

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

The senses tell the massage room

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

The apotheosis of Hercules

Worship of the Lares

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

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

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

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

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

The senses tell the frigidarium

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

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

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

A day of hunting at the villa

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

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

The Latifundium

The protagonists of the mosaics

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

The senses tell the Vestibule

The senses tell the Basilica

A hidden meaning

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

An eloquent symbol: the signum

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

Outdoor breakfast

Form of greeting or ritual?

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

The rural sacrifice

The catalogue of animals

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

A small room embellished with marble

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

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

The main nuclei of the Domus

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

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

The possible celebration of a solemn event

The senses tell the monumental entrance

Semi-public rooms