Monumental entrance

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

The imposing entrance connected the late antiquity building, included in the latifundium of Philosophiana , to the public road recorded by the Antonine Itinerary that connected Catania to Agrigento. The entrance is reminiscent of the Roman triumphal arches due to the presence of a monumental honorary triumphal arch with three fornices , originally richly decorated and used to accommodate the distinguished dominus considered the commissioner of the villa. A monumental arch was erected in Rome to celebrate an illustrious individual or victorious general.
The work of architecture had an ogival arch greater in size than the two side arches and hinged gates that allowed its closure.
These characteristics suggest the dual function that the villa would have had in the 4th century AD for its dominus: private residence but also a place of reception. In the imposts , located between the fornices of the portal, there are two double fountains that are different in shape but united by a symmetrical layout that gives greater solemnity to the portal and amplifies the perception of wealth. The pools at the entry of the monumental entrance still preserve faux marble frescoes, visible on the outside of the rectangular basins, and mosaics that cover the internal areas.

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

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

A day of hunting at the villa

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

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

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

Outdoor breakfast

The catalogue of animals

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

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

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

The rural sacrifice

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

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

The senses tell the monumental entrance

The senses tell the Vestibule

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

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

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

The protagonists of the mosaics

Semi-public rooms

Form of greeting or ritual?

A hidden meaning

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

The Latifundium

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

The public and private rooms of the villa

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

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

The senses tell the frigidarium

The apotheosis of Hercules

The possible celebration of a solemn event

The senses tell the Basilica

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

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

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

Worship of the Lares

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

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

A small room embellished with marble

The senses tell the massage room

The main nuclei of the Domus

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

An eloquent symbol: the signum

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

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa