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Villa Sant’Anna (Villa dei Mosaici)

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In 2005, an amazing discovery was made a few metres from Porta Consolare, near the church of Sant’Anna: during excavation works for the construction of a car parking, in the area previously occupied by a football field, remains of a Roman villa were unearthed.

Years of excavation and restoration work brought to light a splendid imperial-age villa composed of twenty rooms with stunning mosaic floors. The colours and the elegance of the design demonstrate the superior skills of the craftsmen involved, probably from Rome and commissioned by a wealthy client; unfortunately the identity of the owner of the Villa is not known, although the wine pouring scene in the main room has led experts to think he may have been a winemaker.

The Villa covers an area of ​​500 square metres and two construction phases have been identified: the first in the Augustan age (27 BC-14 AD) and the second in the imperial age (2nd-3rd century AD). Ten of the twenty rooms are decorated with multicoloured mosaics and retain traces of variously- coloured plaster on the walls. The mosaic floors portray figures of wild and fantastical animals, male characters representing the Seasons, satyrs, geometric elements and the aforementioned scene of pouring wine in the main room, the triclinium. Other remarkably beautiful rooms include the room of the birds, of the amphorae, of the radiant sun, of the geometric mosaic – perhaps the bedroom – the room of the shields, which was heated and the most ancient part of the Villa, and the peristyle, that is, the portico that framed the inner courtyard of the house. All the decorations are connected to the owner’s (apparent) profession: wine production.

Since 2018, Villa dei Mosaici has become an avant-garde museum, with a modern architectural structure that is perfectly in harmony with the landscape that surrounds it and is equipped with numerous facilities for visitors.

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