Castroreale and Roman Villa

Like many other Sicilian villages, the origins of Castroreale date back to an indefinite period. During the Middle Ages it was known as “lu castru” but it became more relevant thanks to Frederick II of Aragon, who loved to go hunting in the areas surrounding the village, thus deciding to build a castle there. Unfortunately the earthquakes destroyed it and today only one of castle’s tower still stands. However, the medieval charm of Castroreale remains. It is an ideal place to walk and relax for a couple of hours. From both ends of Corso Umberto you can enjoy beautiful landscapes. The churches preserve works of art by Antonello Gagini: the Annunciation in the church of Sant’Agata, the sepulcher of Geronimo Rosso in the church of Santa Maria di Gesù which also maintains beautiful portals in Catalan style, the statue of Santa Caterina in the church of Santa Maria Assunta with a bell tower from the 1500s. A few kilometers from Castroreale it is possible to reach the famous Roman Villa of San Biagio.
The villa is an extension of the previous construction dated to the 1st century BC, as can be seen from some floors covered with a mixture of lime grease and small pieces used by the ancient Romans to guarantee absolute impermeability. The square-plan building included an internal courtyard surrounded by a portico that developed in a series of eight columns on each side. Between the hall and the courtyard opens the Tablino, which is the main room of the Roman houses which served as a reception room and for storing family documents. The room, the floor of which was made of colored and inlaid marble joined together like a mosaic, shows the remains of paintings on the walls. Next to the ruins of the villa in a small room, fragments of sculptures, stuccos and ceramics that decorate the rich house are exposed to the public.


Archaeological visit to the Roman villa and churches


Works by Antonello Gagini preserved in the churches of Castroreale

Castroreale and Roman Villa


ACTIVITIES: Historical and cultural interest

DURATION: half day