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Piazza Armerina


Piazza Armerina is a town in the province of Enna, set on a hill of the Southern Erei Mounts. It was probably founded by the Greek inhabitants of Gela; subsequently it passed under the control of the Romans, Arabs and Normans.
The modern town was realised during the XII century on the ruins od the older town of Piazza, destroyed by Gugliemo I, for having given hospitality to the rebel barons.
The Cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, dominates the town. It was built during the first years of the XVII century on a pre-existing structure, of which only the bottom of the bell tower, in gothic-catalan style, remains. Inside it is possible to admire a precious XV century wooden crux.
On a hill outside the town, there is the Priory of Sant'Andrea, built by Simone count of Butera, Ruggero I's grandson. It is decorated with beautiful frescoes (XII, XIII and XV century).
Among the other monuments of the town, we have to mention the Aragonese castle (XIV century), the Baroque style church of San Rocco and the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista, with frecoes by Guglielmo Borremans.
Piazza Armerina is famous all around the world for the beauty of the Roman Villa del Casale, declared by UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of the most outstanding archaeological testimonies of Roman Sicily of the Imperial Age. Built between the end of the 3rd c. and the beginning of the 4th, this luxurious dwelling is ingeniously distributed in three distinct groups of buildings, i.e. peristyles, courtyards and thermae, which together constitute a unity of style worthy of the highest admiration. Most interesting of all are the various series of beautiful omamental and figured mosaics which embellish the entire building: there is perhaps no other place in the ancient world that is comparable either in the overall quantity or in magnificence.


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