Villa Romana del Casale

Piazza Armerina, Italy

The Villa Romana del Casale is a large and elaborate Roman villa or palace located about 3 km from Piazza Armerina. Excavations have revealed one of the richest, largest, and varied collections of Roman mosaics in the world, for which the site has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The mosaic and opus sectile floors cover some 3,500 sq metres and are almost unique in their excellent state of preservation due to the landslide and floods that covered the remains.

Although less well-known, an extraordinary collection of frescoes covered not only the interior rooms, but also the exterior walls.

The visible remains of the villa were constructed in the first quarter of the 4th century AD on the remains of an older villa rustica, which are the pars dominica, or master’s residence, of a large latifundium or agricultural estate.

The owner's identity has long been discussed and many different hypotheses have been formulated. Some features such as the Tetrarchic military insignia and the probable Tetrarchic date of the mosaics have led scholars to suggest an imperial owner such as Maximian. However, scholars now believe that the villa was the centre of the great estate of a high-level senatorial aristocrat.

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Details

Founded: 4th century AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jane Steensta (2 months ago)
Agree with all reviews about the impressive villa and mosaics. Just to add that if you visit with a dog they áre not allowed on the site,but there are numerous loose unsupervised dogs around the car park which come after your dog, and wondering around the site. The staff are not very friendly or have any interest in making visitors feel welcome.
Joaquim Souza (2 months ago)
Worth the drive to see this roman villa. One has to wonder about the scale of wealth of its former owner as he was able to build such a large and sophisticated place in the middle of nowhere. Very well preserved and the mosaics are incredible.
Jose María Simón (3 months ago)
Breathtaking. I think it is one of the most fantastic places I've ever seen, in terms of history&art. I didn't read much about it before coming and I expected not much more than a yard or room with a well preserved mosaic. However it is a big place with many different mosaics, which are an absolute joy to look at. Even the near village of Piazza Armerina has its charm.
Bianca (3 months ago)
If you are an antique society history lover or art lover, you have to go there. I am not the biggest fan and I was really impressed. Free toilets in the restaurant, don't pay outside. I would recommend to bring your own snack and don't eat there. Not sure if it's worth to the guide at the entrance 1h15 for 50 euros. She was kinda running to show us everything on time but I don't think she said anything different from the explanations signs. Only if you really like to have someone telling you, otherwise you can just read everything.
Cristina A. (3 months ago)
World famous archaeological site. This was the palace of a Roman aristocrat, possibly a senator and this was his grand palace in Sicily. In fact the name "villa" can be misleading and not give honour to the majestic size of the place. Take in account at least 40 minutes of visit, but with the guided one can stretch to 1.5 hours.
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