Biapsidal ambulacrum known as "corridor of the great hunt"

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

This is one of the largest and most dominant spaces of the late antiquity residence, with the function of connecting a number of rooms: as a place of passage to access the basilica , an axis of distribution for the main apartments and area of connection with the triapsidal triclinium . The floor mosaic of the “Corridor of the Great hunt”, which is around 60 metres long, uses architecture and images to shows the social importance of the dominus. It is presented as a great hunting manual, and depicts the capture in the extreme regions of the Empire of exotic animals to be exhibited during the venationes , the shows in the Amphitheatre of Rome.The mosaic composition is divided into seven scenes, split into three registers, with wild or urbanised landscape backgrounds, generic scenes focused, above all, on animal chases, and episodes of capturing and transporting wild beasts on boats bound for the capital, the centre of the Empire.

Unlike the Hall of the “Small Hunt”, no animal killings are represented.
The story takes shape from the north apse , occupied by the figure of Mauritania, who with her thick dark hair introduces the capture of animals in the African provinces, ending in the south apse, with the personification of India or Ethiopia by an incense tree.The description of the grandiose deployment of animals captured to be sent to Rome and coming from the farthest provinces and even from the mythological universe, such as the griffin, has a clear intent to celebrate the magnificence of the villa’s commissioner and the empire’s ordering function over the “barbaric” regions it had conquered.

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

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

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

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

The protagonists of the mosaics

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

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

The senses tell the massage room

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

The main nuclei of the Domus

A small room embellished with marble

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

The possible celebration of a solemn event

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

Semi-public rooms

The catalogue of animals

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

The apotheosis of Hercules

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

The senses tell the Basilica

A hidden meaning

The Latifundium

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

The senses tell the frigidarium

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

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

Form of greeting or ritual?

The senses tell the monumental entrance

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

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

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

A day of hunting at the villa

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

Outdoor breakfast

An eloquent symbol: the signum

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

The senses tell the Vestibule

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

Worship of the Lares

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

The public and private rooms of the villa

The rural sacrifice

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

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

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

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