Built in the III-IV century A.D. at the behest of an unknown client who belonged to the Roman aristocracy, the Villa Romana del Casale is one of the most important archaeological finds in Sicily.
Spread over an area of 3,500 square meters, the villa consists of four distinct groups of buildings, each used for the different functions of social life, from hospitality to rest.
The beautiful mosaics that adorn the floors, still give us a vivid image of Roman life and the mythology of that people.
Among the areas of particular interest, the baths, which are developed in various rooms, rooms where hunting scenes and daring erotic scenes are depicted, the hall of ten gymnasts intent on practicing various sports.
The origins and history of the city are shrouded in legend and in the fanciful popular beliefs that date back to prehistoric times. Here, settlers from Cuma and Chalcis founded the ancient city of Zancle in 756 BC, a place of encounter and confrontation for many peoples due to the strategic importance of the site itself. Conquered and reconquered by Siceliots and Carthaginians, Messana (thus renamed by the tyrant of Reggio) became the first Roman colony in Sicily and kept its splendor high until the beginning of the barbarian invasions, and then resist under the Byzantines to the wave of the new invasion Muslim until 843 AD.
With the advent of the Normans in 1061, Messina acquired important privileges and a new municipal constitution. Under the Angevins, at the time of the Crusades, the city became an important military port: the great urban development was accompanied by the flourishing of culture, with the presence of important figures such as the artist Antonello da Messina. Rebelling against Spanish domination between 1675 and 1678, the Messinese were hit by terrible calamities, from the plague of 1743 to the earthquake of 1783 and 1908, which completely destroyed the city.
One of the artistic treasures of the city is the Norman Cathedral (built in 1160 under the reign of Roger II) with the nearby bell tower, which houses the largest astronomical clock in the world.
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