Entrance to the Baths
The entrance to the baths of the Villa Romana del Casale is located at the NW corner of the peristyle, between this and the palestra. This small, slightly irregular room served as the passage from the main part of the villa to the thermal baths. From the peristyle the visitors descended a few steps into the room from where another few steps lead down into the palestra. The room has benches along two sides, and has probably been used as an apodyterium, a room for changing clothes before and after the baths. The mosaic on the floor shows a woman at the centre, with her two children at the sides, on their way to the baths. The two persons at the extremes of the composition are two domestic slaves, one carrying the clothes for the bath, the other carrying the utensils used for massaging the body with oil during the baths. In a corner between the two flights of steps is depicted a chair and other objects. There has been some disagreement about the identity of persons on the mosiacs. The mosaic is generally interpreted as depicting the lady of the house, the domina, with her two children. Who exactly they are depends largely on who one believes to have been the owner of the villa. The mosaics are very well preserved, unlike the rest of the decorative elements of the room. Photo by Brenda Pokorny.