The Houses beyond the House

Tour of the remains behind the Domvs Romana

Heritage Malta will be organizing a tour exploring the remains behind the rich Roman town house that we now call the Domvs Romana. This event will be held on Monday 1st May, a public holiday.

The Domvs Romana, situated just outside the walls of the city of Mdina, does not only preserve some of the most precious Roman remains, but also allows visitors to get a glimpse into the life of a Roman domestic household. Apart from showing the complex history of the site itself, the current museum display is in fact designed to take the visitor through the various aspects of a Roman family and their household. Also on display at the museum are the polychrome mosaics that originally adorned the house’s peristyle and surrounding rooms. These mosaics are regarded as some of the finest in the central Mediterranean.

These remains were discovered on the 3rd of February 1881, when workers digging holes for the planting of trees on Mdina’s esplanade hit upon its mosaics floors. The subsequent clearance works carried out by A.A. Caruana uncovered the remains of a lavishly decorated townhouse complete with a colonnaded peristyle and dated to the first decades of the 1st century BC.

In September 1920 Sir Temi Zammit started excavating the areas to the north of the domus, now located at the back of the museum but which originally formed the front of the house, as well as the fields to the east of the road leading down to Mtarfa Train Station. Here he uncovered vestiges datable to between the 3rd and 4th century AD.

But what are these remains? How are they connected with the remains of the rich domus discovered in 1881? What do they tell us about the ancient Roman town of Melite?

This event will commence at 10am and only a limited number of tickets are available. Tickets, at €10 for adults, seniors and students and €8 for Heritage Malta members and children, are available from all Heritage Malta museums and sites, and ONLINE. Coffee break included.

More information about Heritage Malta activities can be found on the agency’s website,