The Roman Villa in Patti was discovered in 1973 during the construction of a section of the A20 motorway, when a part of the north side of the villa was destroyed.
The original villa was built in the II-III century. A.D. and was demolished to make way for a larger and much more elaborate villa built on it at the beginning of the 4th century. ANNO DOMINI.
The core of the next villa consists of a peristyle surrounded by residential environments, typical of the late Roman villa. The most representative rooms are, in the west wing, the particularly large Aula Absidata (“apse room”) reminiscent of the basilica in Piazza Armerina, and in the south wing a tri-apse room where the peristyle overlooked the sea. The Aula Absidata contained a mosaic floor that has now been destroyed, but the mosaic floors of the peristyle and the tri-apse are in excellent condition. The east-west orientation of the Aula Absidata, different from the north-south axis of the peristyle, raises doubts about its function and dating, suggesting that it could have been a church built after the owner had converted to Christianity.
The mosaic of the peristyle consists of a grid of square tiles inserted in a frame of continuous laurel wreaths enriched with floral and ornamental motifs. The tri-apsidal mosaic includes octagonal and circular medallions with animals on the curvilinear sides. The quality of both polychrome mosaics is not very high, which indicates that they were the product of a Sicilian workshop instead of North African artisans.
In the north-east area, a bathroom system has walls made with a different technique.
The residence had been abandoned before the earthquake that hit Sicily in 365 AD.
After the earthquake between the sixth and seventh centuries, the remains of the villa were partially restored and the house remained there at least until the tenth century. ANNO DOMINI.