Explore Italica, Spain
The ruins of the Roman city of Italica are just 9km from Seville and make an excellent day trip.
Italica was one of the first Roman settlements to be built in Spain and was founded in 206 BC. It became an important city during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. Two emperors were born in Italica - Trajan and Hadrian and Hadrian in particular built marble temples and fine buildings.
During Moorish times the city was eventually deserted and it is for this reason that so much remains to be seen - it has not had successive generations of cities built upon it. It seems likely that the city was abandonned because the River Guadalquivir which once ran through the city changed course and left the town without a convenient water-source.
The ampitheatre is one of the main sights to see at Italica. It is huge - it was the third biggest in the Roman Empire, giving an idea of the importance of Italica at the time. Most of the ampitheatre, like Italica itself, has been dismantled and the stone and marble used for buildings in nearby Seville. However you can still see the remains of rows of seats and the dens for animals.
Also in Italica the remains of the streets can be seen and some wonderful mosaic floors from some of its villas remain. Many are complete and of an excellent quality. The main villas to see are the House of Neptune, the House of Rodio, the House of Hylas, the House of Birds - named for the many bird mosaics in the villa and the Planetarium house. There is also a temple, the Templo of Trajan.
Many of the finds from excavation works in Italica are housed in the Museo Arqueologico in Seville.
Every year in January Italica hosts an annual cross-country race, the 'Cross Internacional de Italica'. The senior event is one of the major cross-country events in the World and attracts international cross-country champions.
Game of Thrones
Italica is one of the filming locations of the seventh season of Game of Thrones. It is the setting for the dramatic Dragon Pit and the place where many of the characters meet up for the first time. Filming will also take place in spring of 2018 for the eigth season.
Places to visit near Italica
In the nearby village of Santiponce there are some well-preserved Roman baths and a Roman theatre.
Seville is of course not to be missed if you haven't visited already. It is one of our absolute favourite cities in Spain!
Photos of Italica
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Map of Italica and places to visit
Italica places to visit
See more places nearby in the Andalucia guide