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Photo of Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra

Visit Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra

The Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra is a substantial area of mosaics in the west of the city of Ravenna in north-east Italy, and accessed through the Church of Sant'Eufamia on the Via Gian Battist Barbiani. In English the site is called the Stone Carpet Domus

The mosaics were originally part of a roman villa on this site. Although the mosaics are certainly very modest compared with those at the Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily, they are interesting to see when you are in Ravenna and an interesting contrast with the byzantine mosaics you will see in the basilicas and baptisteries in the town.

Discover the Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra in Ravenna

Italy This Way review: the Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra is an archaeological site where you can see an extensive area of floor mosaics that date from the 4th century - it is the representations of characters from that period that make the site especially interesting.

Floor mosaic in Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra

The mosaics cover an area of 700 square metres, and were discovered by accident in 1993, when work was being carried out on a building in the adjacent street. A 10 year program of renovations ws then carried out before the mosaics were opened to the public.

The mosaics of the Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra are approximately three metres below the current ground level. A walkway around the edges of the space, above the mosaics, allows them to be seen easily.

 
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Many of the floor mosaics are still in place on the floor, and several of the other mosaics are now displayed on the walls around the edges of the site. Most of the mosaics are based on squares and circles, and in a wide range of patterns. Interspersed with these there are pictures of figures.

The most important mosaic is called the Dance of the Spirits and shows four Spirits holding hands and dancing in a circle. Each of these Spirits represents a season of the year: Autumn is dressed in white and at the bottom of the mosaic; Winter, dressed in green, is at the top, and Spring is on the left, in a red robe.

The mosaic that represents Summer has been lost, but you can also see a mosaic of a person playing a flute of reeds in the mosaic.

The other important mosaic is called the Good Shepherd, and is a common early representation of Christ from a story in which He laid down his life for his sheep. The mosaic shows the Good Shepherd with two fawns, two trees, two large birds and a reed flute hanging from one of the trees.

Entrance to the Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra costs around four euros.

Good Shepherd mosaic in the Domus dei Tappeti

Attractions nearby

The Church of Sant'Eufemia through which you reach the mosaics is an unremarkable church - as you wander through the church you will perhaps think you are in the wrong place to discover the mosaics - and was built in the baroque style in the middle of the 18th century on the site of a very ancient Christian temple.

There are numerous sites of interest in the city, including some of the most impressive 6th century mosaics in the world: see the guide for Ravenna.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Emilia-Romagna guide.

See also: 

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Map of Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra and places to visit

 
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Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra places to visit

Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna

Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna

The Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna is an imposing monument with the best byzantine mosaics in Europe

Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna guide
Ravenna Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Ravenna Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is a remarkable example of an early Christian building with christian-byzantine mosaics from the 5th century

Ravenna Mausoleum of Galla Placidia guide
Ravenna Baptistery of Neon

Ravenna Baptistery of Neon

Ravenna Baptistery of Neon is one of the most ancient Christian baptisteries, built in the 5th century and decorated with mosaics

Ravenna Baptistery of Neon guide
Archbishop's Chapel in Ravenna

Archbishop's Chapel in Ravenna

The Archbishop's Chapel in Ravenna is a tiny 6th century chapel decorated with byzantine mosaics

Archbishop's Chapel in Ravenna guide
Ravenna

Ravenna

Ravenna is world famous because of the exceptional mosaics and several 6th century churches in the city

Ravenna guide
Dante's Tomb in Ravenna

Dante's Tomb in Ravenna

The Tomb of Dznte is the final resting place of the great 13th century poet, Dante Alighieri

Dante's Tomb in Ravenna guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Emilia-Romagna

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