About 3 km southwest of Piazza Armerina, surrounded by a valley full of pines, elms, poplars and hazel trees, there is a beautiful monumental building known as Villa Romana del Casale. It was a luxurious residence owned by Massimiliano Erculeo, one of Diocletian’s counsellors, during the Roman Empire. It is famous worldwide for its mosaic pavements and has recently been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This Villa had already been inhabited during the Arab period. Later it was partially destroyed by the Normans and then covered by a mud flood coming from Mount Mangone – and it remained under the mud for a long period of time.
In the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s experts began to study the site and the excavation works to uncover the Villa were started in the 1950s thanks to the support of the Region Sicily and the commitment of the archaeologist Vinicio Gentili.
The beauty and importance of this Villa lies in the perfect state of preservation of its mosaics, which are considered to be the widest and most fascinating mosaics ever made in the Roman Age.
Further information: Villadelcasale