Visit Piazza Armerina town
Piazza Armerina is inland in the southern part of Sicily and is famous for the fabulous Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale about five kilometers southwest of the town. Piazza Armerina is about half way between Agrigento on the west coast and Catania on the east coast.
Explore Piazza Armerina
Sicily Visitor Comment: You will probably only be visiting Piazza Armerina to see the stunning Villa Romana del Casale nearby but the town itself, whilst rather run down, has some interesting medieval and baroque buildings.
Piazza Armerina is built on a hill with its cathedral and castle at the top of the hill dominating the town and the skyline.
The baroque cathedral was built in the 17th-18th centuries but its more ornate belltower belonged to a previous church that stood at this location and predates the cathedral by some 200 years.
There is a Gothic window on the left side of the cathedral which also belongs to the original 15th century church. The main part of the cathedral is built in Baroque style which was fashionable in the 17/18th century when the cathedral was rebuilt.
Inside the cathedral are many art works including the 'Assumption of the Virgin' by Filippo Paladini and there is a small treasury holding more reliquaries and assorted silverware.
The other main sight in the town is the 14th century Aragonese castle, Spinelli castle where King Martin I of Aragon once lived.
In common with many of the Sicilian towns, the remaining architectural highlights are the churches and the small palaces scattered around the town. Many of these are built in the Baroque style as they were rebuilt following a devastating earthquake at a time when Baroque architecture was the dominant style.
If you head to the tourist office on Piazza Garibaldi you can get some information about the main sights of the town. One of the main palaces is the Palazzo Trigona built in the eighteenth century and located near to the cathedral.
The main reason to visit the town is to visit the Villa Romana del Casala which is a 4th century Roman villa that was hidden under mud for 700 years. When it was excavated it was found to be a sumptous villa, probably a hunting lodge and its floors are decorated with the most amazing mosaics both in quality and quantity.
The villa is quite staggering and the mosaics are of such quality that the villa has been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Where to visit nearby?
Be sure to visit the Villa Romana del Casale and then you may wish to visit the Greek ruins of Morgantina which include a Greek Theatre.
A lot of the main towns and attractions in Sicily are on the coast and so it is nice to explore the pretty countryside of inland Sicily. The road to Aidone and the road between Piazza Armerina to Villarosa via Enna is a particularly pretty one to drive. This is in the Parc Naturale Rocca di Cerere which is very attractive.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.