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Villa Romana del Casale

Piazza Armerina, Italy

Roman exploitation of the countryside is symbolized by the Villa Romana del Casale (in Sicily), the centre of the large estate upon which the rural economy of the Western Empire was based. The villa is one of the most luxurious of its kind. It is especially noteworthy for the richness and quality of the mosaics which decorate almost every room; they are the finest mosaics in situ anywhere in the Roman world. The Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina is a world-famous archaeological monument. It is one of the best preserved examples of late antique art and architecture in Sicily, built in the 4th century AD.

Villa Romana del Casale is located in a picturesque rural setting at an altitude of about 270 metres above sea level. It was originally built as a summer residence for a high Roman officer.

The villa is huge and consists of many buildings spread over an area of more than 11,500 square metres. There are many impressive architectural elements, such as a large peristyle terrace, a Roman bath, a garden and an amphitheatre.

One of the most remarkable features of Villa Romana del Casale are the numerous mosaic floors that cover the floors of the houses and buildings. The mosaics are extremely detailed and full of colour and range from animal motifs to mythological scenes.

In recent years, the Villa Romana del Casale has undergone extensive restoration and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998. It is one of Sicily's most popular sights and a must-see for anyone who wants to experience the art and architecture of antiquity.