Italy // Sicily //

Piazza Armerina

A thirty-minute drive to the south of Enna, PIAZZA ARMERINA lies amid densely planted hills; it’s a quiet, unassuming place mainly seventeenth and eighteenth century in appearance, with a skyline pierced by towers and houses huddled together under the joint protection of castle and cathedral. All in all, it’s a thoroughly pleasant place to idle around, though the real local draw is an imperial Roman villa that stands in rugged countryside at Casale, 5km southwest of Piazza Armerina. It was hidden under mud for seven hundred years, until excavations in the 1950s revealed a lavish villa, probably a hunting lodge and summer home, decorated with polychromatic mosaic floors that are unique in the Roman world for their quality and extent.

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