Menu Close

Chasing World Heritage: #159 (Villa Romana del Casale)

Villa Romana del Casale is among the most unique and impressive monuments of antiquity. The very short WH inscription mentions the richness of the mosaics found in practically every room of the villa, and indeed those are altogether remarkable and likely unparalleled among the surviving such artifacts in both quantity and quality.
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
The mosaics are almost entirely found as floor decorations. With just one or two exceptions, you view them from elevated platforms.
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
There are a few rooms where the damage to the floor is extensive, and only the fragments of the original decorations are visible.
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
But most of the rooms are on the opposite end of the spectrum, with a few damaged areas surrounded by well-preserved mosaics. A few rooms display patterns and vignettes.
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
As amazing as those are, the jaws really drop when you come to one of many rooms where the floor is veritably a canvas depicting various scenes bound by a common theme, be it pursuits of leisure, commerce, or mythology.
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Among the most famous compositions are the so-called Bikini Girls, a depiction of young women engaged in sporting events.
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
The most impressive of all of the rooms is the “Corridor of the Big Hunt”, a 66-meter long walkway adorned with dozens of scenes involving numerous animals and overseas voyages.
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
As if seeing all of that ancient artistry was not enough, a modern sculptor has his works on display throughout the villa. We already saw Igor Mitoraj’s Fallen Angel in Agrigento. Here are a few more of his creations.
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
A typical visit to Villa Romana del Casale will take around two hours, but it clearly depends on how much you would decide to linger to examine mosaic details. Getting to the villa is not exactly hard, but the location is far enough from the regular overnight-stay destinations, so budgeting significant driving time to get there and back may be unavoidable. The town of Piazza Armerina, whose municipality encompasses the villa, does not feature on any must-see itineraries of Sicily that I’ve seen; interestingly enough, from a distance, it looks like a lovely hilltop town and actually may be worth exploring on its own.

Posted in Travel Pictures, World Heritage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.