Villa Romana del Casale and a fabulous lunch with a comtessa

Today we visited the remains of the very large Villa Romana del Casale, rumored to be the home of a wealthy Greek trader. All of the floors throughout the extensive residence are mosaics of phantasmagorical scenes (and athletes in bikinis!). It was discovered by a farmer 60 years ago; can you imagine finding something like this in your backyard? Most likely it had been covered over by landslide in 1300s; this fortunate-for-us event left the place intact for our modern eyes.

After the villa visit, we drove through the middle of Sicily, with its abundant agriculture, Mt. Etna looming ever in the distance. We had a marvelous lunch at the working farm of an extremely gracious, but dispossessed, Italian royal. Writing this hours later in Syracuse, I can’t imagine putting one more morsel of food or one more drop of alcohol in my body.

Lastly, we drove to the next hotel in Ortygia, the historical center of and tiny separate  island off Syracuse.

Here are some photos:

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Live all all you can. It’s a mistake not to.

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