Challenges and Prospects: The Roman Villa and Central Sicily

Detail of a Mare at the Roman Villa del Casale

According to Ansa, the Roman Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina – Central Sicily – used to attract 600,000 visitors annually 20 years ago. Today, it draws less than half that number. Just over 84,000 of these are guests who enjoy free admission. The total income slightly exceeds 2 million euros. This demonstrates a decline that is also evident in the nearby Aidone Museum, which houses the Dea di Morgantina and its silvers.

Corriere della Sera also highlights the acts of vandalism against the Villa, which prompted Legambiente’s appeal in 1998 – dossier Archeomafie – to exclude Regione Siciliana from managing archaeological sites.

Additionally, Regione Siciliana is accused of ineffective maintenance. However, a temporary effort by Sicilia Outlet Village in 2017 is noted, with 6 restorers engaged for 3 months.

A poor choice was made in 1957: a plexiglass cover, which exacerbates the effects of heat and humidity. Yet, architect Mario Piana argues that there are eight permanent maintainers for the mosaics of San Marco in Venice, where the problem of salt crystallisation is much more severe than in Piazza Armerina. (Sergio Scialabba)


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