Domus del Mito, Pesaro and Urbino

The Domus of the Myth took its name from the mythological themes of its decorations. It is a Roman house built in the 1st Century, recently rediscovered near Urbino.

A majestic mosaic spans the floor in the “Domus of the Myth” of Sant’Angelo in Vado, in the province of Urbino. It is composed of thousands of tesserae that depict allegorical figures, hunting scenes and mythological subjects decorated with multi-coloured patterns. Built between the I and II centuries A.D., the domus is one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the last 50 years.

The collection

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Domus del Mito, Urbino

The sumptuous mosaic of the triclinium of the Domus del Mito, in Sant’Angelo in Vado, as well as being rich in geometric motifs, also features a typical central emblem depicting a fight between fish. This section of the mosaic, which was particularly damaged due to subsidence, has recently been the subject of a sophisticated restoration project. Using the “pulling” technique, the emblem was covered, removed and then repositioned in situ, and today it is possible to admire it in a perfectly flat position.

Domus del Mito

The Domus del Mito is so named because of the presence of numerous mosaics depicting mythological scenes. One of these, "The Triumph of Neptune" is located in the vestibule and portrays the figure of the God, accompanied by his wife Amphitrite, holding a trident on a cart pulled by two sea horses. The myth has it that Neptune, fascinated by the grace and beauty of the young nymph, had her captured by a dolphin in order to win her over and make her the Queen of the Sea.

Domus del Mito

What is a triclinium? It takes its name from the lecti triclinares, the beds on which the hosts lay to eat together with their guests, and it was the room where meals were eaten in ancient Rome. Their dinners were real rituals which lasted hours, sometimes until late at night, and given its importance, the room where they took place was decorated with precious mosaics, such as those of the Domus del Mito near Urbino.

The art work

The Domus del Mito is a recently-discovered Roman house near the town of Sant’Angelo in Vado, in the province of Pesaro and Urbino. Owing to the extent and wealth of the mosaic flooring in particular, which is in an excellent state of conservation, the house is an exceptionally important archaeological find. Thanks to a number of aerial photographs, a dense, varied fabric of structures was discovered buried inside the area of the ancient Roman town of Tifernum Mataurense, along the River Metauro.

The aristocratic domus, totalling about 1000 square metres, is distinctive for its presence of seven large halls, each of which boasts an elegant, prominent collection of floor mosaics and it is due to the large number of mythological figures portrayed therein that it has been given the name Domus del Mito. The two details shown here, in particular, are from the largest room in the house, the triclinium, or rather the hall used for meals. The majestic mosaic rug in this hall is extremely richly decorated, characterised by the allegorical and mythological figures, multi-coloured decorations, a central frame containing fighting marine creatures and the reproduction of a hunting scene inside a rectangular frame.

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