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 line of armed men for an important Dominus

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

The senses tell the monumental entrance

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

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

An eloquent symbol: the signum

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

Outdoor breakfast

A day of hunting at the villa

The senses tell the Basilica

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

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

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

The possible celebration of a solemn event

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

Form of greeting or ritual?

The senses tell the frigidarium

Semi-public rooms

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

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

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

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

The Latifundium

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

The main nuclei of the Domus

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

The catalogue of animals

A hidden meaning

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

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

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

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

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

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

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

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

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

The rural sacrifice

A small room embellished with marble

The apotheosis of Hercules

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

The senses tell the Vestibule

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

The senses tell the massage room

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

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

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

Worship of the Lares

The public and private rooms of the villa

The protagonists of the mosaics