Itinerary B
Piazza Armerina

[5] a monumental portal

The sumptuous three-arched entrance to the Late Antique residence must have thrilled those who entered because of the multitude of colours that enriched it, starting with the bright colours of the plasterwork decorated with geometric mirrors in imitation marble, which recalled the high rank of the dominus. Those entering through the side entrances were observed by the pairs of frescoed figures. Even the two symmetrical fountains, placed between the large central and lateral openings, restore part of the decorations on the outside, simulating lively marble slabs in contrast to the whiteness of the interior mosaics, surmounted by an elegant decoration with plant racemes and birds. A number of guards, the ianitores, watched over the entrances through which those who had to make their way to the great hall where the dominus held his audience, the Basilica, or to other places such as the public baths and the vestibule, entered. The surrounding wall of the villa could be seen, even from a distance, rising in the latifundium, inhabited by the houses of the settlers.