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Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina

Villa del Casale en Plaza Armerina

Dating from the 1st century BC, is a Roman luxury villa, whose artistic mosaics, baths and portraits of age “Flavia” found in the sedimented levels of the construction, indicate that the house was inhabited until the 4th century, destroyed by an earthquake and then rebuilt by Marcus Aurelius Maximinianus. After centuries, although degraded, it was occupied by the Arabs in the ninth century and finally destroyed by the Norman king of Sicily, William I, in 1155. More “palace” than villa, the building (of Romanesque style) is of an incomparable level of luxury: the excavated area (minimum part of the complex) measures 4000 square meters. And it is divided into four zones, all with mosaic floors of exceptional quality. Built on a series of terraces, the first is the monumental entrance: you enter the courtyard and, from there, to the beach. The second, the palaestra, leads to the magnificent octagonal frigidarium, and then to the tepidarium and the three caldaria. On the peristyle, with the monumental fountain, there are different rooms and a small apse sanctuary. The third surrounds the peristyle: the large triclinium has apses on three sides, and is decorated with mythological scenes. The fourth area opens on to the long corridor decorated with hunting scene and with one of the most beautiful mosaics in existence, with scenes of animal capture in Africa. This area includes parts of the basilica, a large living room and most of the rooms. In addition to the beautiful mosaics, the villa has columns and walls decorated with painted stucco, of high artistic quality.

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