The context - the Villa

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

The layout of the late antiquity domus on three large levels,which follow the nature of the terrain, cannot overlook the importance of the duration of the works that created the mosaics and architectural scenes.
Some clues give rise to the assumption that it was executed with no initial unitary project, either because of the layout of a number of rooms or the style of the depictions of the mosaic ornaments, though the contemporary use of two different stylistic registers is recurrent in Roman artistic tradition. We cannot overlook the possibility that the structure of the late antiquity residence was built in a short time or that it was enlarged from the original nucleus at a later stage.
Starting from the monumental portal and the thermal baths, we go up one level to the peristyle , and then even higher to the biapsidal ambulacrum of the “great hunt” that leads to the main apartments, but above all, to the most important place in the villa, the basilica .The imposing space that distinguishes it is embellished by the presence of precious marble slabs laid on the walls and floor, laid with a slight inclination to compensate for the slope of the ground.

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

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

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

The apotheosis of Hercules

A small room embellished with marble

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

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

The senses tell the massage room

The Latifundium

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

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

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

Semi-public rooms

The public and private rooms of the villa

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

The senses tell the frigidarium

The senses tell the monumental entrance

An eloquent symbol: the signum

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

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

Outdoor breakfast

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

The senses tell the Basilica

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

The rural sacrifice

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

Form of greeting or ritual?

Worship of the Lares

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

The catalogue of animals

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

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

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

The senses tell the Vestibule

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

The protagonists of the mosaics

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

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

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

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

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

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

The possible celebration of a solemn event

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

A day of hunting at the villa

A hidden meaning

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

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

The main nuclei of the Domus