In case you think all we do here is eat and drink, you are only half right. Here are images from a day among the astonishing mosaics in the Villa Romana del Casale, in the very small town of Piazza Armerina. My favorite is the Palestrite Room’s “Bikini Girls” who add uncanny perspective to our ongoing international infatuation with sport.
(Top: 4th century AD weight training; discus throwing; running. Bottom: Ceremony w/gold cloak handing crown and palm to girl with radial wheel; girl with victory palm and crown; and game of handball. The “double floor” reveals original mosaic, top-left.)Close-up of the lovely lady holding the wheel in “Bikini Girls.” See the tiny shapes and gradations of color that create the room-sized scenes — much artistic talent required.
And amore, of course, is everywhere!
Villa Romana del Casale is an elaborate palatial villa where extensive excavations have revealed one of the richest, largest and varied collections of Roman mosaics in the world. The site is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The villa and artwork date from the early 4th century AD. The mosaics are unique in their excellent state of preservation due to a landslide and floods that covered them for centuries.