Private entrance to the baths

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

sight
A privileged access for the Dominus family

Everything seems to be gathered in this small trapezium-shaped room which gives access to the thermal areas via a small ramp from the Peristyle. The floor mosaic realistically depicts five differently dressed figures. The one that catches our eye is located in the centre and is dressed in such exquisite clothes that we think she must be the domina of the Villa del Casale. She is depicted wearing a long dress with wide, coloured draperies, made even more iridescent by the many colours of the countless tiles. The two characters standing next to her also attract our attention because of their beautiful faces, with long blond hair that rests on the bright shades of their yellow and green cloaks. Notice the two handmaids at either end of the group carrying what was needed for the baths

hearing
Whispers and soft tones

The space was used as a waiting room or a changing room for the family of the dominus. It was only to be filled with the voices of the domina and the thermal procession following her, mingled with the sound of glass or alabaster ampoules filled with perfumes and essences. However, the intimate atmosphere must have encouraged a subdued dialogue, interrupted only by the echo coming from the baths.

smell
oriental scents

The small size of this room allowed it to collect the aromas of the unguents and natural oils that came out of the baths and the ampoules carried by the handmaids for the domina‘s entrance to the cold baths. The perfumed notes came from substances that also arrived from the distant Roman domains, transported by ships that landed in the main ports of the empire. Roses, pomegranates and lavender were mixed with precious raw materials such as cinnamon, myrrh and frankincense. Just imagine the sense of well-being that hung in the air, making this place the threshold between the hectic pace of daily life and a state of harmony between body and mind.

touch
Elegance inside

For a moment, become part of the scene depicted in the mosaic: you would have the opportunity to touch the precious fabric of the dress worn by the domina, made up of ample drapery enriched by vertical bands with different textures, perhaps embellished with pearls, to underline her belonging to a family of important social rank. The helmeted hairstyle, embellished with gems embedded in the hair, is a harmonious reminder of her fine clothing. Similarly, the orbicles, consisting of sinuous embroidery decorating the tunics of the two young men at her side, underline the prestige evoked by the mosaic representation. The square box, held by a handmaid, must also have contained ampoules with unguents and perfumes. Their workmanship was as sophisticated in materials as the quality of the essences used increased.

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

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

The apotheosis of Hercules

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

A small room embellished with marble

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

The senses tell the massage room

The main nuclei of the Domus

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

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

The possible celebration of a solemn event

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

The senses tell the monumental entrance

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

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

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

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

Form of greeting or ritual?

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

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

The senses tell the frigidarium

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

Semi-public rooms

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

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

The Latifundium

The senses tell the Vestibule

The public and private rooms of the villa

The protagonists of the mosaics

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

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

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

Outdoor breakfast

An eloquent symbol: the signum

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

The rural sacrifice

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

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

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

The senses tell the Basilica

Worship of the Lares

The catalogue of animals

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

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

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

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

A day of hunting at the villa

A hidden meaning