Via Romana Del Casale


It must have been some time during the 4th century A.D., because that is what the sign said, a rich Roman decided to build a modest house with a private chapel, hot and cold baths, rooms all over the place…you get the picture, just what everyone needs in a country home. He and his slaves are all dead, the baths are dry, the roof caved in, and when it got excavated over the last couple of centuries, only the floors survived in a state worthy of gawking, which was our intention on a hot Sicilian day in Aidone.

This is obviously a good time to be brief, unless you care about mosaic floors—and who doesn’t? Click on any of these images to get an enlarged view.

It is hard to say why mosaics have such appeal, but the place was busy with paying tourists. Mosaics last longer than walls and ceilings. For one thing, floors rarely fall. If your boss in the year 397 had 40 rooms to be inlaid (or laid in), you could probably put off fear of starvation or of being tossed to the lions for a few years. For some, that would beat working at Amazon.com.

The Sicilians make tasty looking food, and it is (nearly) always delicious. Almost every dish could be photographed and put into a recipe book. This was our lunch, beautifully presented. Everything would have been great, but the fearsome trip to the Bristol Hotel was made more difficult by a street party that had closed access to the hotel. By happenstance, our helpful, handsome desk clerk walked by our stymied car and advised us where we could snag an overnight spot, a substantial distance from the hotel, but it proved to be a pleasant walk back.

The street party was noisy, simple, and filled with young people. I liked seeing so many kids out at night without a hint of  rowdiness. We found a large pizzeria away from the madding crowd. It was entirely adequate.

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2 responses to “Via Romana Del Casale”

  1. As your visit to Sicily comes to an end I have to back up and map out the places you’ve laid your collective heads down. Other than Palermo I have to admit my ignorance of this island. Perhaps I might even take the trip via Google Earth. I am a bit ashamed at my perceived view of this part of Italy, compared to the reality you have been able to share with me and with others, wise enough to follow your travels.

    I remember vividly when our dad came back from five weeks in Europe, visiting with us and travelling to a multitude of countries from Italy to Denmark. All of his readings about these places dimmed from the reality of being there. I know he talked of this trip until he passed away four years later.

    We wish you guys the best for the balance of this memorable trip. I assume you separate from Rick and Stephanie once you leave Palermo? Please give them our best if they’re still around to do so. Hope to talk with you both upon your return.

  2. I only realized today that many pictures got posted as blog entries, which must have been confusing. I have had time today to straighten some of this out, but I have many more entries to complete.

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