Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina

The Villa Romana del Casale at Piazza Armerina is a sublime example of a luxury villa in the late Imperial Roman style, and symbolizes the diligent use of the territory by the Romans as a base for the rural economy of the Western Empire.  Villa del Casale is one of the most lush of its genre, and is famous for the richness of its mosaics, which are known as the most beautiful of the Roman mosaics.  This gem attests to the lifestyle of the ruling Roman class and shows the mutual influence between cultures, and the exchanges taking place in the Mediterranean between the Roman world and North Africa.  This is so much more than merely an admirable representation of Roman architecture.  The Villa, thanks to the perfect preservation of its rooms and of the mosaic representations and inimitable frescoes, tells the story of Roman life and civilization.  Like the Valley of Temples, Villa del Casale was added to the list in 1997.