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

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Steve G (5 months ago)
The largest and best preserved collection of Roman mosaics I have seen. Information placards in Italian and English. Worth the entry price of EUR 10 if you are interested in Roman history.
Daphne Zwart (6 months ago)
A nice place to visit with beautiful old mosaics. Very well preserved, some feel like reading a book when you look at it. Most of the Villa romana del Casale is in the shade, that was nice. Even without tour guide, you can see the whole place and read about the mosaics. It is worth going here! The entrance fee was not too steep.
Shauna Habel-Morgan (6 months ago)
An ancient gem! The most comprehensive mosaic display of the Roman empire. A must see to understand their life, the gladiator games and more!
Dimi Rogatchev (6 months ago)
Incredible place where you can touch the history dating thousands of years ago! The site is organized perfectly and one can get familiar with the historic building step-by-step - from the outside constructions up to the north and south wing of the estate. The place is suitable for family with kids and it is worth driving to the middle of Sicily (almost ;)) The people working here are friendly and kind, ready to help and support with guidance! Thumbs up!
Mariella Campbell (6 months ago)
It is a place to visit for some history and to see the remains of a majestic place. The mosaics which in areas are still there in its entirety, enrich these remains and depict the story of the ancient times. Where the mosaics consist of patterns, then these are appreciated for the symmetry they create.
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