To me, one of the best journey suggestion is one for a spot of which you’ve by no means even heard. And that’s precisely how I realized of Villa Romana del Casale when getting suggestions for my Sicily journey. This wonderful historical Roman web site close to the city of Piazza Armerina was completely off my radar and is the sort of place you could possibly simply miss with out realising. But you actually have to go to Villa Romana del Casale if you happen to can, as a result of it’s some of one of the best preserved Roman ruins I’ve ever seen.

Rightly a UNESCO World Heritage web site, Villa Romana is most celebrated for its unimaginable mosaics. Now, you could be considering “So what, I’ve seen ancient mosaics before and they’re usually not that complete or impressive.” But I’m telling you, the mosaics listed below are going to blow your expectations away. I’m cautious of over-hyping this attraction to a lot, so hopefully the remainder of this text will present you why that you must go to.

 

History of Villa Romana del Casale

To me, one of the best journey suggestion is one for a spot of which you’ve by no means even heard. And that’s precisely how I realized of Villa Romana del Casale when getting suggestions for my Sicily journey. This wonderful historical Roman web site close to the city of Piazza Armerina was completely off my radar and is the sort of place you could possibly simply miss with out realising. But you actually have to go to Villa Romana del Casale if you happen to can, as a result of it’s some of one of the best preserved Roman ruins I’ve ever seen.

With any historic attraction like this, you must acknowledge its historical past to actually respect it. Although immediately discovered proper exterior Piazza Armerina Villa Romana del Casale predates the small metropolis by many centuries. Built within the 4th century AD, the villa changed a smaller rustic residence from the third century. Historians imagine {that a} member of the Roman provincial aristocracy, presumably a governor, owned the villa right now.

Following the autumn of the Roman Empire, the villa was fortified within the 5-Sixth century AD. In later centuries, it grew to develop into a big medieval settlement, till its individuals deserted it within the thirteenth century. In across the fifteenth century, a small neighborhood generally known as Casale was based right here over the now-forgotten ruins. The ruins have been then primarily misplaced to time till the Nineteenth-Twentieth century, when individuals began to find the treasure trove beneath.

More and extra of the traditional villa was uncovered by excavations within the 40s, 50s and 60s. It was solely a matter of time earlier than UNESCO declared it a Worth Heritage Site in 1997. Since 2004, these liable for the sight have undertaken main restoration work to protect the location and its unimaginable mosaics.

 

The Villa Romana Mosaics

Villa Romana del Casale Sicily

Although there are fairly just a few components to Villa Romana, the mosaics are simply probably the most noteworthy. I’ll contact on the opposite components of the ruins a bit of later, but when I’m trustworthy, they’re significantly overshadowed by the mosaics. Seeing the ruined define of an historical Roman villa is a uncommon factor, however to see room after room of that villa lined in intact mosaics is one other factor completely.

And it’s not prefer it’s the identical mosaic patterns time and again. There’s an unimaginable selection of designs right here, from mosaics with scenes associated to a selected theme to lovely geometric patterns. While the geometric patterns are good sufficient, I personally loved the thematic ones as that they had a narrative or concept behind them.

 

Understanding the Mosaics

To me, one of the best journey suggestion is one for a spot of which you’ve by no means even heard. And that’s precisely how I realized of Villa Romana del Casale when getting suggestions for my Sicily journey. This wonderful historical Roman web site close to the city of Piazza Armerina was completely off my radar and is the sort of place you could possibly simply miss with out realising. But you actually have to go to Villa Romana del Casale if you happen to can, as a result of it’s some of one of the best preserved Roman ruins I’ve ever seen.

Some mosaics are centred round a theme just like the seasons, displaying you ways that idea was perceived on the time. Others relayed a side of life on the time, reminiscent of ladies competing in athletic sports activities. Then there are those recounting a neighborhood legend or story from mythology, like the story of Orpheus and the labours of Hercules. Imagine having a narrative from Roman mythology sprawled throughout your ground.

Because, you’ll see these mosaics in most of the villa’s rooms. They embellished the flooring of essential halls, but additionally bedrooms and even common service rooms and aspect rooms. That appears a bit of extravagant for the servant’s quarters or your pantry, however apparently not for them.

To me, one of the best journey suggestion is one for a spot of which you’ve by no means even heard. And that’s precisely how I realized of Villa Romana del Casale when getting suggestions for my Sicily journey. This wonderful historical Roman web site close to the city of Piazza Armerina was completely off my radar and is the sort of place you could possibly simply miss with out realising. But you actually have to go to Villa Romana del Casale if you happen to can, as a result of it’s some of one of the best preserved Roman ruins I’ve ever seen.

By the way in which, you do study every room, its function and design all through your tour of the villa. As you go there are data boards that determine the themes and characters of the mosaic. They additionally usually level out delicate symbolic or figurative components that present the extent of thought and element that went into the mosaic design. With that understanding, you respect what you’re seeing much more.

 

Peristyle Courtyard

Villa Romana Italy

While there are just a few fragments of mosaics within the entrance to the villa, it’s the peristyle the place you first get an actual sense of the mosaics right here. The peristyle is mainly a central courtyard for the villa, with a portico surrounding a backyard and fountain. What makes the peristyle particular is that the walkways across the exterior are lined in mosaics, most of that are practically full. That stated, there’s additionally the ornately carved columns and even fragments of frescoes on the partitions.

The mosaics right here all comply with a single design, that of an animal surrounded by a wreath. There’s fairly some selection within the animals depicted, but additionally within the colors used. To see the mosaics, guests stroll on elevated walkways that actually assist offer you a way of the size right here. What’s extra, the walkways carry you throughout to the rooms off the peristyle, many of which have their very own distinctive mosaics inside.

To me, one of the best journey suggestion is one for a spot of which you’ve by no means even heard. And that’s precisely how I realized of Villa Romana del Casale when getting suggestions for my Sicily journey. This wonderful historical Roman web site close to the city of Piazza Armerina was completely off my radar and is the sort of place you could possibly simply miss with out realising. But you actually have to go to Villa Romana del Casale if you happen to can, as a result of it’s some of one of the best preserved Roman ruins I’ve ever seen.

 

Ambulatory of the Big Hunt

Sicily Roman Ruins

At this level within the go to, it’s onerous to think about anyone spot being a transparent spotlight. But then you definitely come to the Ambulatory of the Big Hunt and it turns into clear that that is the spotlight. You might have seen tons and much of mosaics to date, however none fairly like.

That’s as a result of the Ambulatory of the Big Hunt is one steady hall mosaic that runs 60 metres from one aspect of the villa to the opposite. The scale of this mosaic is unbelievable, however the truth that it creates such a complete scene is much more outstanding. The ambulatory tells the story of the Roman Venatio, the place wild animals have been fought in amphitheatres for the needs of leisure, damaged down into distinct episodes.

To me, one of the best journey suggestion is one for a spot of which you’ve by no means even heard. And that’s precisely how I realized of Villa Romana del Casale when getting suggestions for my Sicily journey. This wonderful historical Roman web site close to the city of Piazza Armerina was completely off my radar and is the sort of place you could possibly simply miss with out realising. But you actually have to go to Villa Romana del Casale if you happen to can, as a result of it’s some of one of the best preserved Roman ruins I’ve ever seen.

As you progress from one aspect of the Ambulatory to the opposite, you comply with the story of the Venatio. First you see scenes of how wild animals have been captured from throughout the Roman Empire. The dimension of the Roman Empire signifies that the scene consists of fairly an unique vary of creatures, from lions and rhinoceroses, but additionally legendary ones like griffins. Then, the scenes present the animals transported throughout the seas again to Rome. Once you perceive the theme it’s wonderful how clear the which means is behind every episode.

To me, one of the best journey suggestion is one for a spot of which you’ve by no means even heard. And that’s precisely how I realized of Villa Romana del Casale when getting suggestions for my Sicily journey. This wonderful historical Roman web site close to the city of Piazza Armerina was completely off my radar and is the sort of place you could possibly simply miss with out realising. But you actually have to go to Villa Romana del Casale if you happen to can, as a result of it’s some of one of the best preserved Roman ruins I’ve ever seen.

 

Other Ruins of the Villa

Roman Baths

Having talked in regards to the mosaics to loss of life, let’s take a fast take a look at the opposite issues to see right here. You’ll encounter different components of the villa each earlier than and after the mosaics, with the Roman baths and the Basilica the 2 most memorable. Admittedly, Roman baths with every of the completely different temperature rooms are pretty widespread at archaeological excavations. But I did like how one can see they warmth every of the rooms with the minimize away ground inside.

Then there’s the Basilica, the most important and most essential room of the villa, which hosted the courtroom. Although it too has some mosaics to take a look at, what makes the Basilica particular is its uncommon polychrome marble surfaces. The completely different marble used originates throughout the Mediterranean and its liberal use for the flooring and partitions highlights simply how essential this stately corridor was.

 

How to Visit Villa Romana

To me, one of the best journey suggestion is one for a spot of which you’ve by no means even heard. And that’s precisely how I realized of Villa Romana del Casale when getting suggestions for my Sicily journey. This wonderful historical Roman web site close to the city of Piazza Armerina was completely off my radar and is the sort of place you could possibly simply miss with out realising. But you actually have to go to Villa Romana del Casale if you happen to can, as a result of it’s some of one of the best preserved Roman ruins I’ve ever seen.

Hopefully I’ve offered you on why it’s best to go to Villa Romana del Casale at this level. So now, it’s only a matter of easy methods to get there. Since the villa is situated a methods inland from the favored west coast locations, having a automotive is well one of the simplest ways to get there.

However, travelling with public transport isn’t inconceivable, as there’s a bus from Taormina. It’s finest to verify on the station to see the timetable although. Alternatively, if you happen to’d fairly go to as half of a tour, then this guided tour which additionally stops in Agrigento is your finest guess.

Finally, there’s the choice I took which was to remain in Piazza Armerina and go to there as nicely. From Piazza Armerina the villa is round a 3 km stroll or there’s an rare native bus. Piazza Armerina will not be probably the most well-known place in Sicily however there’s fairly just a few locations to remain there. For my go to, I stayed on the B&B Giucalem, a country little household B&B on a farm under city.

 


Have you heard of the mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale earlier than? Do you take pleasure in seeing Roman ruins and artefacts like mosaics throughout your travels? Please share your ideas within the feedback under.

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The extraordinary mosaics and Roman ruins of the Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily, via @travelsewhere

The extraordinary mosaics and Roman ruins of the Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily, via @travelsewhere The extraordinary mosaics and Roman ruins of the Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily, via @travelsewhere