Roman and Baroque Sicily

Depart from your hotel  to Piazza Armerina to visit the famous Villa del Casale: The Villa was built (on the ruins of the old villa) in the first quarter of the fourth century BC, probably as a center of a large landed estate that covered the area surrounding. It is not known how long the villa had this role, perhaps for less than 150 years. The complex was inhabited and the village grew around it, called platia (which comes from the word palatium, palace). The villa was damaged and perhaps destroyed during the domination of the Vandals and the Visigoths. The outbuildings remained in use, in the last period only in part, during the Byzantine and Arab. The site was abandoned in the twelfth century BC when a landslide covered the
villa. The survivors fled to the current site where there is Piazza Armerina.

The villa was almost entirely forgotten, although some of the highest parts of the ruins were always above the ground. The area was cultivated for harvest. In the early twentieth century pieces of mosaics and some columns were found. The first archaeological excavations officers came out later in the century.

We continue to Caltagirone, the city of ceramics. The name comes from the Arabic "al-qal'at-Ghiran" ("Hill of Vases"). Inhabited since prehistoric times, as evidenced by the presence of the necropolis dated to the second millennium BC and numerous other discoveries. It was later inhabited by the Siculi, pre-Roman population.

The Arabs built a castle, which in 1030 was attacked by Ligurian troops under General Byzantine George Maniakes, who left traces of Ligurian language in the current dialect. The city flourished under the Normans and Hohenstaufen under the domination, becoming a renowned center for the production of ceramics.

Back to Palermo.




Departure time: 07.30 AM (at your hotel)

Duration: 7 hours

Entrance fees are not included

Lunch is not included

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