The Neapolis

The capture of wild animals for the Roman amphitheatre games. The mosaic of the Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina.

In Sicily, the floor mosaics of an important location, the UNESCO site of the Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina, depict an evocative testimony of how complex the organisation of the shows in the Roman amphitheatre was.
The ambulatory (a portico in the upper part of the Villa), around 60 metres long, is known as the “corridor of the great hunt”.
As a matter of fact, the themes dealt with by the mosaicists in late antiquity do not involve scenes of killing, but rather the capture and transport of ferocious and exotic animals, providing us with the most extensive figurative example of this kind from antiquity.
Starting from the North African regions, passing through Italy and Egypt and settling, according to some scholars, in India, and to others, in Ethiopia, the narrative unfolds in seven scenes divided into three registers (the parts into which a depiction is divided): the upper section is occupied by a wild or urban landscape; the central section by generic scenes with a prevalence of animal chases; while in the lower section, which occupies the largest space, the main events of the capture and transport come to life.
The protagonists of the action are military hunters, servants, those in charge of transport, and the officials directing the operations.

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

Castello Maniace

The architecture of the Piazza

The Culture of Pantalica

Byzantine Pantalica

The Spanish fortification

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

The catacombs of San Giovanni

King Hyblon’s kingdom: Pantalica, between history and legend

The Roman Amphitheatre

Neapolis from past to present

The Gladiator performances

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

Roman Syracuse, a military power thanks to the genius of Archimedes

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Senatorial Palace

The Euryalus Fortress

The Jews, a wandering people

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

The cultural significance of tragedy

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

The Cathedral of Syracuse

Crypt of San Marciano

Temple of Apollo

The Venationes

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

Where seas and civilisations meet

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place