Plinius Conference Abstracts
Vol. 17, Plinius17-44, 2022, updated on 07 Jul 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-plinius17-44
17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Safeguarding of the Villa Romana del Casale UNESCO site from severe weather events: the case study of Apollo medicane occurred in October 2021

Fernanda Prestileo1, Alessandra Mascitelli1,2, Guido Meli3, Marco Petracca1, Claudio Giorgi4, Davide Melfi5, Silvia Puca2, and Stefano Dietrich1
Fernanda Prestileo et al.
  • 1Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC-CNR), Rome, Italy (fernanda.prestileo@cnr.it, s.dietrich@isac.cnr.it)
  • 2National Civil Protection Department (DPC), Rome, Italy
  • 3Director of Works Project for the Recovery and Conservation of the Villa Romana del Casale of Piazza Armerina, former Director of C.R.P.R., Regione Siciliana, Palermo, Italy
  • 4Geo-k s.r.l., Rome, Italy
  • 5Italian Air Force Met Service - COMet, Rome, Italy

In response to damage resulting from the natural phenomena of aging and decay but also from the occurrence of disasters (earthquakes, floods, fires, etc.), the conservation strategies of cultural heritage (whether it is movable or immovable) inevitably require a methodological approach aimed at planned conservation and preparedness for the risk event of the cultural site. Between 2007 and 2012, in this context, the intervention of recovery and conservation of the archaeological site of Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina (Sicily, Italy), UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1997), was realized.

The project, directed by the Centro Regionale per la Progettazione e il Restauro, Regione Siciliana, was aimed not only at performing the conservative intervention of the monumental site and its decorative apparatus, but also at drawing up a protocol for preventive maintenance. This protocol concerned the new covering system of the archaeological site, its protection and fruition, as well as the hydrogeological asset of the territory on which it rises. In this frame, since the early Middle Ages the fonts document serious floods that interested the area on which the Villa del Casale is located. These floods inevitably interacted with its conservation history, even influencing its existence. The damages caused by the flood of October 1991 are documented, when the archaeological area was already excavated thanks to the archaeological campaign directed by the archaeologist Gino Vinicio Gentili. These excavations were themselves influenced by the flood of 1951 that covered the area still partially explored. In this study, after considering the damage caused by the previous weather event of October 1991 on the UNESCO site, the occurrence of October 2021 and the construction’s positive response to the stress caused by the meteorological phenomenon are analysed.

The investigation was carried out using ground-based and satellite-based measurements, to provide a detailed overview of the extreme event that occurred, to identify the pressures that insisted on the studied site. The analysis highlights the effectiveness of recovery and conservation project carried out on the monumental complex and completed in 2012.

Keywords: UNESCO site, Archaeological area, Meteorology, Extreme weathers, Flooding, Safeguarding

References

- Meli, G. (Ed.) (2007). Progetto di recupero e conservazione della Villa Romana del Casale di Piazza Armerina, Palermo, Collana I Quaderni di Palazzo Montalbo. I Grandi Restauri, 12/1, C.R.P.R., Palermo.

- Coletta, V., Mascitelli, A., Bonazza, A., Ciarravano, A., Federico, S., Prestileo, F., Torcasio, R.C. & Dietrich, S. (2021). Multi-instrumental Analysis of the Extreme Meteorological Event Occurred in Matera (Italy) on November 2019. In International Conference on Computational Science and Its Applications (pp.140-154). Springer, Cham.

- Prestileo, F., Mascitelli, A., Meli, G., Petracca, M., Giorgi, C., Melfi, D., Puca, S. & Dietrich, S. (2022). Resilience of cultural heritage in extreme weather conditions: the case of the UNESCO Villa Romana del Casale archaeological site’s response to the Apollo Medicane in October 2021. In International Conference on Computational Science and Its Applications (In Press). Springer, Cham.

How to cite: Prestileo, F., Mascitelli, A., Meli, G., Petracca, M., Giorgi, C., Melfi, D., Puca, S., and Dietrich, S.: Safeguarding of the Villa Romana del Casale UNESCO site from severe weather events: the case study of Apollo medicane occurred in October 2021, 17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks, Frascati, Rome, Italy, 12–15 Oct 2021, Plinius17-44, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-plinius17-44, 2021.