Wednesday, November 14, 2007

villa Romana del Casale

The villa lies 6 km south-west of Piazza Armerina. The route is well signposted. Let's Go said it is a lovely hike to and from the villa but we didn't have time. In summer the buses run between Piazza Armerina and the villa but we were there in October, so we had to take a taxi there and back. The great thing about traveling off season is there are no crowds but the weather wasn't as cooperative but we've gotten used to that. We were in Sicily in March and it rained every day and it didn't bother us. This trip, it rained every day too with little spurts of respite so we could still take pictures. The surrounding environs of Piazza Armerina is wild and lush and absolutely lovely. Here and there is an occasional stone farmhouse, just the type of scenery we go to Europe to see.
Villa Romana del Casale is famous for it's mosaics and this place still acts as a magnet for all visitors to Sicily. The village of Casale and the Roman ruins were both destroyed in a landslide in the 12th century and forgotten. It was not until 1929 that archeaologists rediscovered the place. This villa has been explored since 1950. So far the manor house with nearly 50 rooms has been uncovered and conserved. Work is still being done as seen by the workers in the various rooms painstakingly replacing every little piece of lost mosaic.
The mosaics cover a wide spectrum of subjects from daily and court life, mythology and frequently of hunting. The best preserved is of maidens exercising in 'bikinis', this was closed to the public, so we don't have a picture of it but it can be seen from brochures and books.

No comments: