Vestibule

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

This rectangular space, accessed through a large porticoed courtyard


spread out in a fan shape, opens up to the main rooms of the villa according to the typical tradition of the domus with an atrium and with an atrium and peristyle.
Vitruvius, a Roman architect and writer, in the 1st century BC in De Architectura, already considered it a place for public and not private use and therefore absent from the homes of ordinary people.
The late antiquity residence, introduced by such a majestic entrance, was certainly intended for a dominus with a distinguished profile but the vestibule in this case had a function that was not only official but multi-purpose, as seen in its mosaic decoration.
The celebratory motif depicted in the figurative scene in the centre of the room is contrasted by the presence of a frame of geometric mosaics reminiscent of those on the floor of the courtyard in front of it, which served as a passage area.
The surprising realism of the scene, unfortunately defaced, shows in the foreground of the floor mosaic some figures arranged on various registers, in ceremonial dress and with their hair surrounded by plant crowns, with hairstyles, according to some scholars, that were fashionable in the tetrarchic age. Their faces are slightly oriented to the right of the representation, where it is assumed that the dominus entering on horseback was depicted.

The senses tell the monumental entrance

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

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

The protagonists of the mosaics

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

Form of greeting or ritual?

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

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

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

The catalogue of animals

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

The senses tell the frigidarium

The apotheosis of Hercules

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

A day of hunting at the villa

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

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

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

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

The senses tell the Vestibule

Semi-public rooms

The possible celebration of a solemn event

A small room embellished with marble

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

The public and private rooms of the villa

An eloquent symbol: the signum

The senses tell the massage room

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

A hidden meaning

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

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

The main nuclei of the Domus

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

Outdoor breakfast

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

The senses tell the Basilica

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

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

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

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

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

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

The rural sacrifice

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

The Latifundium

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

Worship of the Lares