One of the most amazing things I have ever seen.
One of the hardest places I have ever tried to get to.
Sicilian hilltop town with superb Roman mosaics
The triclinium, the villa's large ceremonial banqueting hall, is a 12 square meter (129 square feet) room with three semicircular apses on the sides. The mosaics, which can be seen from raised platforms along the edges of the room, are primarily mythological scenes, including the Labors of Hercules. In the apses, there is a continuation of this...more
I recognized this room right away; after all, our primary guide book for our Sicily trip had this mosaic as its cover photo. This large room near the Corridor of the Great Hunt has mosaics on the floor that depict ten female athletes in various poses of performing athletic activities or accepting accolades, all wearing bikinis. In one corner of the...more
There are many public rooms, perhaps used as guest quarters and formal receptions areas. Most of these rooms, which can be seen from a raised platform above the rooms, contain beautiful mosaic pictures of a variety of scenes. Some of the most action-packed scenes can be found in the hunting rooms.Room of the Small Hunt: This room shows various...more
Romans are well done to have enjoyed the relaxation and cleaniness that a bath can bring. Here at the villa, the baths are typical of other Roman baths with the three varieties of temperatures being provided for bathes of its residents and guests: frigidarium, tepidarium, and caldaria. Massage rooms with mosaics depicting slaves providing massages...more
The Villa Roman del Casale is a World Heritage site which contains some of the largest and extensive Roman mosaics found to date. It was obviously owned by a very wealthy Roman, although there are debates on whether it belonged to Diocletian’s co-emperior Maximian, or someone less important but still obviously very important (and rich). It sits in...more
I was hoping to get into the cathedral if only to see the Byzantine panel painting Madonna of the Victories which dates back to the 11th century, a gift to Count Roger by Pope Alexander II in 1063. Our guide books said the entrance was on the side of the cathedral, but everything appeared to be closed up; it was raining so I didn’t keep trying...more
In front of the cathedral is the Piazza del Duomo, a parking area that is not that inspiring. There is a statue to the Baron Marco Trigona, the patron who paid for the rebuilding of the cathedral in the 1600s, with a relief of his wife on the front of the statue’s base.A number of small café’s and shops as well as the Diocesan Museum line the...more
If you have read many of my tips from this Sicily trip, you will know that visiting the Norman and medieval castles were a priority of mine. So it would make sense that I would include the Aragonese castle in Piazza Armerina. This castle was built by King Martin I in the last 1300s and sits high on a hill near the cathedral. The castle was built...more
We visited the villa expecting to see the famous mosaics. The entrance fee was only euro 3, which was lower than we expected. But we soon learned that the largest part of the villa is being redone and that only a small part of the mosaics are on display. The villa has been closed, we were told, but is now partly open to public. What can be seen is...more
This villa has one of the largest collections of Roman mosaics in the world. If you have only the slightest interest in Roman times, this UNESCO site is not to be missed.The villa was built around 300 AD, maybe for Emperor Marcus Valerius Maximianus. It probably was the centre of an agricultural estate. Parts of it remained in use until the 12th...more
The mosaic of the triclinium, dining room, is one of the largest of the villa. It's damaged and because of its size difficult to oversee. The central theme here is Hercules and his labours.One of the best parts is in the eastern apse: the gigantomachy, the battle between gods and giants. Five giants are hit by Hercules' arrows, their legs replaced...more
The duomo is situated at the highest point of town. Its green cupola towers above the ancient houses. Although this is definitely a Baroque church, it is not as lavishly decorated as many other churches on Sicily. The outside is quite sober and inside it's the unusual combination of blue and white decorations that stands out.Notice the Trinacria...more
Amazing mosaics - 35 rooms of mosaics were discovered under the extensions over the original site which was thought to be a roman villa owned by a noble family. What is so useful about them are the stories they tell and show of the culture at the time - the height of fashion and activities of various classes and roles of men and women, even down to...more
Its about 5 km from the hilltop walled town of Piazza Armerina,driving through pretty countryside with okay signposting until you up to a carpark and then there are signs in all directions with none giving you a definite of which way to go. I just deduced to walk along the obscure road that appeared to have white tent stalls ahead whereas when I...more
The mosaics number 40+ and cover 3500sq. m. of floor. There are fragments of painted wall murals and some carving, statuary etc. The finds are protected by glass walls and ceilings but the extensive deforestation in the area has caused repeated mud-slides which still occur( and originally buried the Villa.) The mosaics are attributed to N. African...more
The Villa in the Casale contrada of P.A. was vaguely known before serious recovery was begun in 1950. As one of the most elaborate complexes in the Roman world,it is amazing that so little information exists. The technical analysis put its date as around 300AD, thus attributing it to the co-emperor with Diocletian, one Maximian.,a Christian-hating...more
snc. via Mattarella, Piazza Armerina, 94015, Italy
Good for: Business
Via Monte, 1, Piazza Armerina, 94015, Italy
Good for: Solo
Contrada RamaldoPiazza Armerina, Piazza Armerina,
Good for: Solo
7 Reviews and Opinions
Parking in the town was a challenge if you are trying to shop or visit the lower sections of the town. The roads were crowded with shoppers going about their business. We kept heading upwards towards the cathedral and castle, which sit higher than the rest of the town. Along the uphill road as we approached the cathedral there were a few open...more
We have all had bad days traveling but this is up there for me. We had just had a great morning looking at the mosaics and were discussing how could it be possible in this terrain that a mudslide could happen and cause the protection of the mosaics for all these years. Then it happened, I don’t know if you can tell from the photo but it’s raining....more
We visited the villa expecting to see the famous mosaics. The entrance fee was only euro 3, which was lower than we expected. But we soon learned that the largest part of the villa is being redone and that only a small part of the mosaics are on display. The villa has been closed, we were told, but is now partly open to public.
What can be seen is good, but not as impressive as the brochures and the sites promise. When you've travelled over 2 hours, this is disappointing. So first check the availability of the mosaics on the web site: "Il percorso di visita e' subordinato ai lavori di restauro in corso".
According to the ghossips this beautiful villa situated right next to the entrance of Villa Casale also dates from the Roman times. It is no name villa and can't be find in any itinerar. Local guy whom I met around told me "sotto voce" (discretly) that villa belongs to one of maffia bosses. Maybe is the truth but I couldn't check it.Anyway, this...more