The context - the Villa

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

Moving through the rooms of the late antiquity residence is like going on a journey that, through the realistic or mythical protagonist figures of the mosaics, tackles the theme of virtus .
Mythology and reality intertwine to represent the manifestation of power and culture of a figure who has left nothing to chance but has wanted, rather, to relate some spaces with subjects that became a symbol of his power and values.This is how the corridor of the “great hunt” is transformed into a visual representation of the use of cunning used to capture exotic animals destined for the Circus Maximus , while the subject of the room of the “small hunt”, which is linked to the animal figures of the peristyle and the ovoid peristyle , represents victory over land animals through the use of force.The concept of virtus still linked to cunning is present in the antechamber of the alcoved cubiculum of the south main apartment that represents the mythical struggle between Eros and Pan. The god of love is victorious, symbolising the superiority of sentiment over the bestial force personified by Pan.
The fight between the two gods therefore evokes a double meaning: the clash and the victory of love over instinct and cunning over brute force. The challenge between Eros and Pan is closely related to the theme of Ulysses and Polyphemus in the antechamber of the alcoved cubiculum in the north main apartment.

The scene enclosed in the mosaic hides a metaphorical meaning: Ulysses represents human cunning that overwhelms the bestiality of the monster Polyphemus, who cannot moderate his greed, thus marking his downfall. These examples are joined by the depictions, once again linked to the myth of Orpheus and Arion , who took victory over the animals of the land and sea thanks to the sweet sound of music, knowledge of which was linked to wisdom.The mosaic of the triapsidal triclinium represents humankind’s victory over its passions through the figure of Hercules , who defeats beasts and monsters.

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

The public and private rooms of the villa

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 catalogue of animals

The rural sacrifice

The Latifundium

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

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

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

The senses tell the Basilica

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

An eloquent symbol: the signum

The main nuclei of the Domus

The senses tell the frigidarium

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

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

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

The senses tell the Vestibule

Worship of the Lares

A day of hunting at the villa

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

A small room embellished with marble

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

The apotheosis of Hercules

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

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

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

A hidden meaning

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

Outdoor breakfast

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

The possible celebration of a solemn event

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

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

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

The protagonists of the mosaics

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

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

The senses tell the massage room

Form of greeting or ritual?

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

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

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

Semi-public rooms