Located a few kilometers outside of Piazza Armerina, the "Villa del Casale" is one of the largest Roman dwellings of its kind to have survived antiquity, and probably belonged to a wealthy patrician. Depicting scenes from daily life, such as hunting, the mosaics are as remarkable for their sociological value as for their artistry. One of these, showing women clad in two-piece swimsuits exercising with barbells, could well describe a scene typical of the twentieth century. The "Villa del Casale" was built between 330 and 360 AD. The identity of its owner remains a subject of debate. There are 3500 square meters of mosaics on the villa's floors, and some surviving wall paintings. Many of the structure's walls are still standing. The style of the mosaics is said to be influenced by the North African motifs of the Romans. The art itself is impressive, but the visitor is also struck by the size of the villa, whose architectural style differs markedly from that of urban dwellings such as those of Pompei. The villa's buildings are arranged in sections, with an impressive entrance and numerous rooms of various dimensions, some quite large. There are also the remains of water pipes, visible near the entrance. Beneath the villa the remains of a village have been found. These have been dated to 100-200 AD. The photos below have been downloaded from the Internet. Our attempts to take pictures did not produce quality photographs.
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