Only in Italy could art dating back to the era of the Roman empire be unearthed in only the last thirty years. Discovered by archaeologists at a countryside villa and largely restored, its remains were part of a simple farm from the 17th century until recently excavated. Its most interesting details are the centuries old mosaics, lining its floors in faded colored geometrics and plant designs.
Though the original building was destroyed in a fire, the decorated mosaic floors remain. Some of the more intricate mosaics depict ancient Greek stories, with the work estimated to date back the 4th century. One of the more complete floors shows hunting scenes and African animals surrounded by a frieze.
While some of the mosaics are close to completely in tact, others have sustained more damage — but all are fascinating to examine in person. Because of its more recent discovery, the villa is less well known (and less crowded) than the mosaics than those at the villa of Piazza Armerina.
The Villa Romana del Tellaro is located in the Syracuse province of Sicily, just south of Noto. Trains leave from Syracuse to Noto multiple times daily. To get there by car, travel south on the SP19. Admission is 6 Euros, nearby parking is free. The villa is open daily from 9 am to 7 pm.