Set just outside the walls of Mdina and located on the edge of Rabat, the Domus Romana is what remains of a small Roman town house discovered in 1881.
Although this is a very tiny museum it is still worth a visit, especially to catch a glimpse of the amazing original mosaics. There are also other artefacts on display, most of them found during the excavation of this Roman villa.
The Domus Romana is part of my list of the 29 Best Museums and Tourist Attractions in Malta.
After the discovery, a new building was built to protect the uncovered mosaics. At the back of the structure, a wide uncovered area overlooking a green valley holds other remains from the same era. The museum first opened to the public in February 1882 but along the years it was refurbished many times.
Over the years, many Roman remains found at other sites around Malta and Gozo were brought to this museum. These collections and the way they are displayed add great value to the visit. You walk in through a narrow walkway that takes you bit by bit through life in a Roman household, gradually revealing more and more items until you finally discover the beautiful mosaic floor at the centre of the villa.
Highlights – Why should you visit the Roman Villa?
The main highlight of this place are definitely the wonderful Roman mosaics. However there are also other items worth seeing, such as:
- A set of marble statues portraying the Emperor Claudius and his family
- A collection of household items used in Roman times, such as jewellery, utensils, containers and tools.
How to get there
Getting to the Domus Romana by bus is really easy–just take bus route number 52 from Valletta and you’ll be there in under an hour.
From Mosta, you can take bus 186 for a 35 minute trip to Rabat.
Address: Museum Esplanade, Rabat RBT 1202. Tel: +356 21 454 125
- Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 17.00hrs. Last admission at 16.30hrs
- Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday
- Adults (18 – 59 years): €6.00
- Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €4.50
- Children (6 – 11 years): €3.00
- Infants (1 – 5 years): Free
Tickets can be purchased in advance through the website of Heritage Malta.
The ticket to the Roman Villa can be combined with the Mdina and Rabat Cultural Experience Ticket that include also visits to St Paul’s Catacombs, the National Museum of Natural History and a Sightseeing train tour in the area.
- Adults (18 – 59 years): €14.00
- Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €9.00
- Children (6 -11 years): €7.00
- Infants (1 -5 years): Free