Italica is located just 10km from the centre of Seville Spain. I don’t know whether you would consider that to be part of any day trips from Seville as some people say it might be too close but you could say 2 centuries ago it was Seville. Italica Spain was a Roman settlement from the 2nd-century BC through to the 4th century AD. It was a settlement of some note and today it’s considered to be the best Roman ruins in Spain. Surprisingly it seems not to feature on many people’s lists of what to see in Seville, which as we found out is a big mistake!
The great Roman General Scipio chose Italica as a place to settle his war veterans who fought Hannibal and the Carthaginians. Italica was so called as because of the Italian origins of the veterans who made it home.
Italica’s reputation and status in the Roman Empire thrived as it was the birthplace of 2 mighty Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian.
During Trajan’s 19 year reign Rome reached its maximum size of territory. Trajan was responsible for extensive public building programs and the introduction of social welfare policies. These feats earned Trajan the reputation as the second of the Five Good Emperors who presided over an era of peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean world.
Hadrian was responsible for the wall that crossed Great Britain and the construction of the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. Hadrian Arc sits proudly outside the Colosseum one of the most well know Roman ruins in the world. Hadrian is considered the 3rd of the Five Good Emperors.Find the best accommodation deals available for Seville. Click here!
It’s possible that a third emperor Theodosius I was born here.
From the moment you enter you are funnelled towards the amazing Colosseum of Italica. There is a room off to the side of the entry gate that showed a short video history and some small artefacts. It also showed how these amazing Roman ruins were found and excavated.
This is Italica Spain
We absolutely loved Italica, it was amazing wandering around the Roman Ruins and the beautiful gardens just inside the entrance. The 3rd biggest Colosseum in the Roman Empire was built here. In its prime, it could hold 25,000 people! We walked the well worn Roman path towards the arena. You walk through the entry to the arena and it opens up in all its glory in front of your eyes. There you are standing on the arena floor as the only people there. To be alone in this once great area was a thrill beyond words.
As I slowly closed my eyes trying to hear the people that once filled this area I tried to imagine what it would have been like to have been a warrior in this stadium. I channelled my inner Russel Crowe and picked up some dirt from the arena floor. To say it was special is an understatement. Anyone who has visited Roman Ruins or monuments in Rome and other popular destinations will tell you that you share the experience with thousands of others. Not so at Italica Spain, I shared the experience with my wife, children and the Ghosts of Italica.
The best Roman Ruins in Spain are located 10 minutes from SevillaClick To Tweet
Family Travel Tip: Bring food and water with you. There was a cafe onsite but it was closed the day we were there. Only opens in the summer. There is some shops located outside the boundary of Italica Spain.
The Italica Colosseum recently featured in the last episode of season 6 of Game of Thrones. It was the meeting place of John, Danirus and Cersei. A little CGI was added to make it look larger. Italica is by no means just a Colosseum and nothing else. It was a thriving city of over 8000 people.
Italica is set out in a grid-like many modern city. The original cobblestone roads are still present, so you walk in the footsteps of Roman Emperors as you explore the town. Mosaics floors are still present in the foundations of some of the past buildings and they are fascinating to see. Columns and even a statue of Emperor Trajan have survived. Mind you Trajan’s head did not survive! Parts of Italica are covered by modern-day Santiponce including the Forum. The Forum was the centre of the civil and religious life of any Roman city. Seville Archaeological Museum holds the famous marble colossus of Trajan and many other fine pieces that have been excavated over the years from Italica. It showcases Roman Seville and we highly recommend visiting if you have time in Seville.
Italica is well preserved as no modern city was built over it. Probably for the same reason, it was abandoned because of a lack of a water source. Don’t get me wrong Itallica was pillaged over the years mainly by the city of Seville. The outside walls of the Colosseum were pulled down to build a dam in the nearby area. That is something that I can only describe as a tragedy. It was not till 1810 that the first law protecting the Roman ruins was enforced ending over 1000 years of Sevilla Italica looting. It was a great day as the Roman ruins in Spain would be protected.
I think it’s the unseen that makes Italica Spain so special. The unseen in a city? Unlike many ruins, these days that are surrounded, overshadowed and on the verge of being swallowed by their surrounds Italica Spain sits in a field. Views in most directions are fields and trees with only Santiponce Spain visible from the highest point. That for me makes these Roman ruins in Spain special, quite unique that they can be so close to Sevilla but so peaceful and uncrowded. Italica Sevilla seems to sit side by side in a peaceful co-existence. One where Sevilla does not send many people Italicas way and Italica can feel safe from the encroaching city. Look no further than Italica for things to do in Seville, or while tripping around Andalucia and its surrounding area.
How to get to Italica – Seville day trips
Taxi: We recommend that you get a taxi. We caught a taxi from near the Seville Cathedral to Italica Santiponce. It cost under 15 euros to be delivered to the main entry gate in a bit over 10 minutes.
Family Travel Tip: We visited in winter and found when we left the Italica site their were no taxi’s around. We were lucky the bus was to arrive 45 minutes later. Check the p21 bus scehdule and try and time your exit as there is only 1 mid day bus.
Bus: You need to catch the Sevilla Santiponce autobus number M170A from Plaza Armas. Plaza Armas is the main bus station in Seville. The autobus Sevilla Santiponce runs 7 times daily in both directions. The bus stop at Italica Santiponce drops off a few hundred meters from the entry gate. The timetable can found here
Italica Seville Opening Hours:
1 Jan – 31 March and 16 September – 31 December:
Tuesday to Saturday: 09.00-17.30 hrs
Sunday and public holidays: 09.00-15.30.
Monday (excluding bank holidays): closed
1 April – 15 June:
Tuesday to Saturday: 09.00-19.30
Sunday and public holidays: 10.00-15.30
Monday (excluding bank holidays): closed
16 June – 15 September:
Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays: 09.00-15.30
Monday (excluding bank holidays): closed
Last entrance 30 minutes before closing time.
Open on all the bank holidays, except:
1 and 6 January
24, 25 and 31 December
EU citizens with proof of nationality: free.
Other nationalities: 1.50 €uro
How to get to Seville
- Find your international flights to Seville with Momondo. Domestic budget flights in Spain try Veuling
- San Pablo Airport is located in the south of Spain, ten kilometres north-east of the Seville city centre.
- Pick up your hire car from Seville Airport to explore the region. For the best prices click HERE.
- Airport transfers to Seville and surrounding area are available. Book your transfer today.
- Catch a train to Seville from cities in Spain and beyond. Plan your trip HERE
- Many buses arrive and depart Seville Bus Station daily from all over Spain and Portugal. We arrived from Granada and departed to Albufeira Portugal from Seville Bus station. Search Bus tickets with Go Euro
Getting around Seville
Seville’s bus system runs from 06:00 to 23:30. Perhaps the most convenient lines are the circular C1, C2, C3 & C4 lines, which take you near some of the Seville’s most iconic monuments. A single bus ticket costs 1,40€ or a Bonobus voucher allowing 10 trips costs 6€. Seville has a small metro with just three lines The Seville metro runs from 06:30 to 23:00 and until 02:00 on Friday and Saturdays. A single ticket costs 1,40€ or a one day ticket including unlimited travel on the Metro is 4,50€. The centre of Seville is very compact and easily traversed on foot. Other options include the Seville Card. The Seville Card allows you use public transport and offers free and discounted entry in too many Seville Attractions. The Seville Hop on Hop off bus offers 24 and 48-hour tickets. This bus drops off and picks up at 12 different spots around Seville and also offers 4 free walking tours. Get the latest prices and booking details HERE
Where to stay in Seville
Please find below 2 other articles about Wyld Family Travel’s adventures in Spain. Click the image to be taken to the article.