The context - the Villa

The public and private rooms of the villa

The rooms and scenes depicted in the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale eloquently interpret the profile that would have distinguished the figure of the dominus, so much so as to validate some of the theories suggested over the years by archaeologists.

As a matter of fact, it is plausible to say that the late antiquity residence, for all its magnificence, reflects the complexity of life and the activities of someone of high social status, who commissioned within it a public route in addition to a second one intended for the more private circle.The sequence of the official places unfolds from the monumental entrance towards the vestibule and the southern part of the quadrangular peristyle to the biapsidal corridor of the “great hunt”, which serves as a narthex, or place of passage, for those who had to access the most imposing and important space of this vast work of architecture, the basilica , reserved for audiences.
The refinement of the marble materials that covered the walls and the opus sectile paving undoubtedly recalls its function of reception, as can be seen on the walls of other areas of the villa not used by the family. The large biapsidal corridor depicting scenes of capturing exotic animals to be brought to Rome for the venationes also serves as a link between the quarters of the basilica, the peristyle and the triapsidal triclinium .The orderly succession of rooms such as the peristyle, the biapsidal corridor and the basilica generally imply imperial palaces, but can also be identified in private villas, such as that of Patti , in Sicily, where an apsidal hall opens directly onto the peristyle.

A hidden meaning

An eloquent symbol: the signum

A day of hunting at the villa

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

The apotheosis of Hercules

The catalogue of animals

A small room embellished with marble

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

The public and private rooms of the villa

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

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

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

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

The protagonists of the mosaics

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

The senses tell the Vestibule

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

The rural sacrifice

The senses tell the Basilica

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

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

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

The senses tell the massage room

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

Form of greeting or ritual?

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

The Latifundium

The main nuclei of the Domus

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

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

The senses tell the frigidarium

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

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

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

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

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

Outdoor breakfast

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

Semi-public rooms

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

Worship of the Lares

The possible celebration of a solemn event

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

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 dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

The senses tell the monumental entrance