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16 marzo 2014

Villa Romana del Casale

A valuable late ancient residence in the heart of Sicily.


Belonged to a member Roman senatorial aristocracy or, in other cases, constructed or expanded on direct imperial commission, the Villa Romana del Casale is considered one of the most significant examples of Late Antique of the West Roman residence. The compositional richness of the ornaments, mosaics that decorate the rooms and the open spacious porches, leads to stylistic ability and the issues discussed, the bonds that combine the north african workers to Sicily, a key stage of their travel in the Mediterranean.

The villa, dating from the IVth century A.D., is located on a rustic villa, built between the I and mid-IIIrd of the IInd century A.D. and aimed at a rich agricultural production activities based on cereals from the mass of Sofiana, the estate belonged to the rich residence of the Casale.

Articulated in the service areas, floors decorated with geometric mosaics, and residence or representation environments, the late antiquity building, in the dynamism of its architecture that spread out over three large terraces, became the scene of an intellectual exercise and power, which is expressed in the activity of otium, negotium and officium. While it was once home to the contemplation and serenity of his dominus, in the other side acquitted the other functions political and administrative, the true heart of power.

In the Byzantine period and the early Middle Ages (V-VII century A.D.), late antique structures arose a

rural settlement that affects the initial setting of the Roman villa, transforming it into a fortified settlement. The different purposes of use continued to change through the centuries, until the

destruction occurred during the second half of the XIIth century, which was followed by a long period of abandonment, interrupted, between the XIVth and XVth century, by the construction of an agricultural settlement built on its ruins. The migration from inland areas of the countryside and the floods wiped out the historical memory of the old village, until its rediscovery in the XIXth century, thanks to the beginning of some excavations that, even today, are affecting other areas of the site.


Info Download the guide and the mini-guide of the Villa Romana del Casale