The “Bikini Girls,” 4th Century AD

The “Bikini Girls,” 4th Century AD

Michael Smith

The scene depicts the famous “Bikini Girls,” from the 4th Century AD Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily listed on the UNESCO World Heritage sites, it is one of the most famous monuments in Sicily. These extraordinarily vivid mosaics, probably produced by North African artisans, deal with numerous subjects, ranging from Homeric escapades and mythological scenes to portrayals of daily life.

The building has more than 3500 square meters of mosaic art works. The most famous mosaic is “le ragazze in bikini” (“girls in bikinis”) showing playing ball or competing in other sports. The mosaic depicts ten girls competing in sports that include weight-lifting, discus throwing, running, and ball-games. Much attention has been given to the competitors' two-piece outfits that closely resembles modern-day aerobic apparel thus demonstrating how little changes over the centuries.

To see the mosaics, visitors walk on elevated walkways that really helps to give one a sense of scale and a feeling as if you are in the same room with these tall elegant sporting ladies from the past; shown exercising over 1600 years ago.

For more information: https://www.wondersofsicily.com/sicily-greeks.htm

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