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 Syracuse Free Walking Tou

Syracuse Free Walking Tour

Every Tuesday & Friday afternoon (summer months and Christmas period)

Etna day trip from Syracuse

Visitors at the Roman villaThe  Roman Villa del Casale of Piazza Armerina, near Enna, is the most impressing building of Roman age in Sicily. It's a sumptuous villa of the late empire period, incredibly well preserved. The villa has more than 40 rooms and is 3500 square meters wide. Inside is an impressive sequence of ancient columns, remains of frescoes, statues and, above all,  mosaics. Thanks to a sofisticated platform system it's possible, for visitors, to see every part of the villa: the termae, the peristyle, the basilica and the private rooms.

The Roman villa del Casale is one of the Sicilian monuments in Unesco's world heritage list. The villa was built during the late Roman empire (4th century A.D.) over an existent building. It belonged to an important member of the aristocracy, maybe a relative of the emperor. In the last years the villa was carefully restored and from the year 2012 it's again completely open to visitors.

The villa del Casale was part of a large latifundium. In the environs was also built a little village named Filosofiana. It's not the only one Roman villa in Sicily. Other, smaller, villas were found near Noto( villa del Tellaro ) or near Messina (Patti Marina).

Ancient mosaics at the Roman villaThe villa del Casale is located few kilometers outside the town of Piazza Armerina. The area around the monument has a parking, restaurants, souvenir shops and toilets. After the ticket shop you will enter in the park which surround the villa. The entrance of the villa is near the thermae. The thermae are well preserved and it's possible to see the ovens which warmed up the rooms and the typical rooms called frigidarium tepidarium and calidarium.

After the first courtyard and the vestibule (with mosaics representing the owners of the villa) is the peristyle with its Corinthian columns and a wide central basin. From this point, the platforms go across the whole building.

The visit begins at the northern side with some litlle private rooms with nice decorations. The most important is the "little hunt" mosaic.

On the north-eastern side of the courtyard is the public area, where the owner received his visitors. A stairway takes to a long ambulatory, adorned with the famous "big hunt" mosaic. The scenes represent various moments of a hunt in Africa to capture wild animals for the amphitheaters. It is possible to see a similar mosaic in the villa del Tellaro near Syracuse.

Map of the Roman villaOn the southern side of the building are other private rooms. One of them is adorned with the mosaic renamed the "girls in bikinis". Outside the main building is a second peristyle and a large room with three apses with mosaics about the labors of Hercules.

Turning around the villa you will arrive to the great basilica where the dominus received his guests. In the park are also the ruins of the aqueduct which served the building.

The roman villa del Casale is without doubt one of the most interesting monuments to see during a visit in Sicily. Information boards, in English language too, explain every detail of the roman villa. Before the entrance it is also possible to rent an audioguide. For a detailed visit we suggest to contact a private tourist guide.

Position

The villa del Casale is few kilometers south from Piazza Armerina. Arriving by  car from Catania/Taormina/Siracusa, take the autostrada (freeway) A19 Catania-Palemo until the exit Dittaino and then drive direction Valguarnera e Piazza Armerina. Coming from Palermo take the exit Enna of the autostrada A19 and drive direction Pergusa/Piazza Armerina. You can see the exact position of the villa on our map on our monument info page.

It's also possible to arrive in Piazza Armerina by bus which depart from the main Sicilian towns like Palermo or Catania. There are different bus lines which cover this route like Interbus - Etna Trasporti and SAIS. From Piazza Armerina you will need a taxi to reach the villa or, from May to September, it is possible to use the Villabus which goes from Piazza Armerina to Villa del Casale once per hour.

Opening times and tickets

The villa of  Piazza Armerina is open every day from 9 am to the sunset (closing hour varies with the season). The full ticket price is € 10 and for EU citizen under 18 years or over 65 years there is free entrance.

Hotels in Piazza Armerina and surroundings

The area of Piazza Armerina has a lot of accomodations for every budget. To take a room in Piazza Armerina can be a good idea to explore central Sicily. Piazza Armerina is a nice little town in medieval style with a lot of artistic churches. The town is famous for the folkloristic Palio dei Normanni which finds place evey year in August. Those who like archaeology can also visit the archaeological park of Morgantina, of Greek age and the museum of Aidone which exhibits the Venus of Morgantina, a sculpture which has been a long time at the Paul Getty museum in the U.S.A. In thirty minutes by car it's possible to arrive to Caltagirone, the town of ceramics or to the beaches of Gela. If you are looking for a bed and breakfast we suggest B&B "La casa sulla collina d'oro" which has very good reviews. The B&B has 4 rooms and there is a nice view of Piazza Armerina from the terrace. The bus stop is very near. Those who like arts can choose  Suite d'Autore, a little hotel with 7 rooms. It is located near the Dom of the town. The rooms are decorated in artistic style. Another B&B is Villa Clementine with a garden, free parking and pool. If you are looking for an accomodation outside the town, have a look at Villa Trigona. The hotel is located in an ancient building and has a little park with pine and olive trees, a pool and a restaurant. A hotel in classic style, outside the town is "Al Ritrovo", a 4 star hotel with pizzeria-restaurant.


 

Further information and contacts

 

Villa Romana del Casale - Piazza Armerina


Phone (+39) 0 935 680036

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Tourism Office of Piazza Armerina


Phone (+39) 0 935 982246 - (+39) 0 935 982244

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Useful links

 

photo credits: J.Strzelecki/Wikipedia; A.Wahra/Wikipedia - Map credits: B.J. Scheuvens/Wikipedia. Materiale con licenza creative commons

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