Small Mosaic Room also called ”the Baths”

Built as a connecting room between the Mosaic gallery and the room near the mosaic courtyard, the small room also known as room of “the baths” is the second room that makes up the Nymphaeum, and was used by the owners of the palace to show off to friends and guests, the series of ancient and modern statues.


The inventories of this sumptuous villa of delight dates back to the late 17th century, and in fact, this small but interesting room attests to the presence of five supports, two of which with plastered surfaces and are decorated with monochromatic compositions, topped with small terracotta statues and white marble statues portraying small, human and marine figures. Originally the lower portion of the room housed a small alcove with a bed and wall frescos, as shown by the discovery of some fragments and traces of preparatory sinopia of the 17th century, found following an accidental fall of some portions of the mosaic of the north wall. Subsequently, the room was renovated through a series of decorative Rococo interventions, carried out in the first part of the 18th century probably commissioned in the forties by the spouses, Giovanni Benedetto Arese Borromeo and Clelia Grillo, as suggested by the presence of the coat of arms of the two families designed on the mosaic floor. The bed in the small room was replaced by an elegant elliptical fountain basin enclosed in a cave adorned with Grottaglie limestone and small sculptures of which only an oval tub and two elegant spirals in black marble remain to this day. As confirmed by some of the inventories of that time, the decorations that adorned the cave included two marble medallions surrounded by stucco depicting fantasy and marine figures drawn from Greek mythology, a statue of Hercules in bronzed terracotta surrounded by four statues in alabaster depicting the seasons, and two pairs of Adam and Eve figures one in marble and the other in alabaster collocated near the tub.
Currently this room also presents the characteristic floor decorations and wall mosaics made with black and white river stones positioned to represent sumptuous geometrical and floral patterns.