during the Norman era, Piazza Armerina's historical quarter has
some beautiful churches, including a Baroque cathedral, as well
as a well-preserved fortress (Spinelli Castle), but most visitors
come here to see the Roman Villa, with its magnificent mosaics.
Located a few kilometers outside town, the villa is one of the largest
Roman dwellings of its kind to have survived antiquity, and probably
belonged to a wealthy patrician. Depicting scenes from daily life,
such as hunting, the mosaics are as remarkable for their sociological
value as for their artistry. One of these, showing women clad in
two-piece swimsuits exercising with barbells, could well describe
a scene typical of the twentieth century.