Visit Italica Spain – Birthplace of Roman Emperors

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Itálica is the best preserved and one of the most popular Roman ruins in Southern Spain. Located close to Seville, the ruins of Itálica are a must-see when visiting Seville. The Italica Spain Roman ruins are a short trip from the city and one of the best value for money attractions in Spain.

Know before you go! Our top Seville travel tips

Located in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula in Spain is Seville. Seville is the largest city in the region of Andalusia. Seville is famous for its flamenco dancing, Bull Fighting and tapas. The city has a long history of being occupied by both the Moors and Christians, who both left their mark via culture, architecture and cuisine.

There are so many things to do in Seville and having the best place to stay in the city to explore is extremely important when you travel. Here we’ve got some information to get you planning your vacation to Seville to make it completely hassle-free.

Where to stay in Seville

You’ll never be short of options for your accommodation in Seville. In Seville, you find a range of hotels, apartments and hostels. You will be sure to be able to find something to fit singles, couples, families and groups on every budget. If you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs, we recommend using Hotellook and Agoda to find the best prices in Seville for your family holiday in Spain.

Budget: This amazing property has a rooftop hangout with outstanding views of Seville. The Oasis backpackers hostel free free city walks, wifi, A Bar, laundry facilities and bike hire. Located centrally mere meters from the Cathedral and the Alcazar palace Plaza

Mid Priced: Apartamentos Located in the heart of the historic center, 400 m from Seville Cathedral and the Giralda is Plaza del Salvador. They feature air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and elegant décor for couples and families. We can personally vouch for this option having stayed here ourselves.

Luxury: The stylish EME Catedral is located next to Seville Cathedral and 60 m from La Giralda. It offers a rooftop swimming pool and bar with views over the city. The boutique hotel has free WiFi and a spa, why not spoil yourself in Seville

Seville apartment alternative for your stay

If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation in Seville when you travel then an apartment is the best choice for you on your family vacation in Seville. There are so many options for singles, families, and budget-friendly options as well. Check out the map below to find the perfect apartment in Sevilla

How to get to Seville

  • San Pablo Airport is located in the south of Spain, ten kilometers northeast of the Seville city center. You can fly directly to Seville from destinations both domestically and internationally. You can search flights to Boston with Kiwi flights
  • Seville is serviced daily with trains from Madrid, Barcelona and other cites both domestically and international. You can book trains to Seville with Omio
  • Seville can be reached directly from 13 cities and indirectly from anywhere across the Europe. Flixbus tickets start at € 5,99. Book your bus ticket to Seville with Flixbus.
  • If you plan to road trip to Seville you can hire a car at any International airport and dealership across the Spain and Europe. Book with Rentalcars for the largest options.
  • Maybe you want to make a trip cross country? A RV is great way to travel around Europe and include a visit to Seville..

Getting around Seville

The old town center of Seville is easy to navigate on foot. 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€. 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€

Using your phone in Seville on vacation

Relying on Wi-fi when you are travelling and sightseeing in Seville with family can be hard. Making calls and staying in contact when you travel with teenagers is a top priority. Plan your family trip to Seville and order your sim before you leave home to stop any stress about travelling, data and calls on your family vacation in the USA.

Visiting Italica

Italica Spain was the first Roman city in Spain, the settlement dates 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 Publius Cornelius Scipio chose Italica as a place to settle his war veterans who fought Hannibal and the Carthaginians in the Second Punic War. Itálica 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 the 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.

Italica Spain,
The Girls at the entrance of the Colosseum at Italica Spain

During the reign of Hadrian, he built the wall that crossed Great Britain and resided over the construction of the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. Hadrian’s 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. It’s possible that a third emperor Theodosius I was born on the Iberian Peninsula.

Italica Spain
This was the 3rd largest Colosseum in the Roman Empire

From the moment you enter you are funneled towards the famous amphitheater of Itálica. 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 of Italiaca were found and excavated.

Italica Spain

This is Italica Spain

We absolutely loved visiting Italica, it was amazing wandering around the ancients streets, Roman Ruins and the beautiful gardens just inside the entrance. The 3rd biggest Colosseum in the Roman Empire was built here. In its prime the amphitheater Italica Spain 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.

Italica Spain
The Dragons Pit as seen in Game of Thrones

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 he Amphitheatre. I channeled my inner Russel Crowe and picked up some dirt from the floor of the Roman theater.

To say it was special is an understatement.  Anyone who has visited Roman Ruins, 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.


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Family Travel Tip: Bring food and water with you. There was a cafe on site but it was closed the day we were there. Only opens in the summer. There are some shops located outside the boundary of Italica Spain.

Italica near Seville is by no means just a Colosseum and nothing else. It was a thriving city of over 8000 people, Home to markets, stores, traders, families and more.

Italica as of late is one of The Game of Thrones locations in Spain where the Hbo show was filmed. Roman Ruins of the Italica Colosseum featured in the last episode of season 6 of Game of Thrones. It was the meeting place of John, Daenerys and Cersei. A little CGI was added to make it look larger. Game of Thrones returned again in Season 8 to film at Italica once again.

Italica is set out in grid-like many modern cities with an elaborate urban center. The original cobblestone roads are still present, so you walk in the footsteps of Roman Emperors as you explore the town.

Splendid 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 ancient times! Parts of Italica are covered by the m modern town of 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 Spain
The statue of Hadrian

Italica is well preserved as no modern city was built over it. The Italic settlement was abandoned because of a lack of a water source. Don’t get me wrong Itálica was pillaged over the years mainly by the city of Seville. The outside walls of the amphitheater Italica were pulled down to build a dam on the nearby Guadalquivir River. By Royal Order of 1912 Italica was declared a National Monument.

That is something that I can only describe as a tragedy. It was not till 1810 that the first law protecting the fine buildings, public baths and Roman ruins was enforced ending over 1000 years of the site being looted by a larger city, that being Seville. It was a great day as the Roman ruins in Spain would be protected

Italica Spain
The foundations of the former Roman Town of Italica Spain

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 the modern town of 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. This historic Roman Iberian settlement 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, while tripping around Andalucia and its surrounding area.

Italica Spain
Amazing Mosaics of Italica Spain

How to get to Italica – Seville day trips

Taxi: We recommend that you get a taxi to the Roman ruins. for this Seville day trip to Italica, 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 schedule and try and time your exit as there is only 1 mid day bus.

Italica Spain

Bus: You need to catch the Sevilla Santiponce bus number M170A from Plaza Armas. Plaza de Armas bus station is the main bus station in Seville. The buses run every half hour (weekends every hour) Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 21:00 Sundays and holidays from 9:00 to 15:00 From July 1st to September 15th Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 15:00 Sundays and holidays from 9:00 to 15:00 From September 16th to March 31st Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 18:00 Sundays and holidays from 9:00 to 15:00 Closed on 1, 6 and 7 January, 1 May, 9 December, 24, 25 and 31 December 

Do I need travel insurance in Spain?
We always say if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel. Get your travel insurance now to protect your epic holiday in Spain from any small hiccup.
For Australian travellers, we recommend Fast Cover Travel Insurance
For worldwide travellers, we recommend Visitors Coverage

T

Italica must be one of the best value for money attractions in Spain.

  • Citizens of the EU, with ID: free entry.
  • People from other countries: 1.50 €.

Italica seville opening hours

April 1 to June 30
Tuesday to Saturday9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Sundays and public holiday9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Mondayclosed (except Mondays preceding public holidays)
July 1 to September 15
Tuesday to Saturday9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Sunday and public holiday9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Mondayclosed (except Mondays preceding public holidays)
September 16 to March 31
Tuesday to Saturday9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sunday and public holidays9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
MondayJanuary 1 and 6, December 24, 25 and 31 are closed 
2021 hours

Where to stay in Seville Spain

Seville has accommodation for everyone, you will find hotels, apartments and hostels. Accommodation located in the old town Seville will be the most expensive. Apartments for 2 or for families a usually cheaper than hotel prices.

Booking.com

Weather in Italica Seville

Seville has a Mediterranean climate. The weather in Seville features very hot summers and milder winters. Due to its inland location of Seville in the south of Spain, the city has plenty of warm weather.

Summer heat in the high 30 thirties make sightseeing in Seville in summer a hot and sweaty affair. The more mild temperatures of Autumn and spring offer a better experience with averages around 20°C .

Winter you will find is not bitterly cold in this region making travel to Seville and the visable remains of Italica possible all year round.

Italica is so much more than a Spain Game of Thrones location its a piece of living history waiting to be experienced, visit Italica today.

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to take a trip to Seville. There is so many great things to see and do in Spain For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Spain click through to our Spain Destination Page for more brilliant inspiration.


More travel inspiration for your trip to Seville

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Mark Wyld

Author Bio:

Father, husband, traveller and chief destination manager here at Wyld Family Travel. When Mark is not talking travel or planning travel you will find him working in disability support. Mark is a family travel advocate having travelled to over 45 countries with his kids from 10 months old, through to their teenage years. You will find his work here and on other popular websites.

11 thoughts on “Visit Italica Spain – Birthplace of Roman Emperors”

  1. Great tip with packing your own food! I always realize too late that either like you experienced, the cafe on location is closed or the cafe costs an arm and a leg for a bottle of water and a cookie. I was actually hoping to visit Seville and didn’t realize that Italica was so close – it wasn’t on my list before but now I’ll have to see if I can add it onto my “to-go” list!

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  2. If it’s good enough for Scipio I reckon it’s worth a visit 🙂 a big part of my advice for Spain would be to calm ahead and check things are open since it can change last minute. I lile the way you prize the unseen in Italica.

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  3. I had no idea there were such amazing Roman ruins in Spain! I’ve been to some in Tarragona near Barcelona but these are much better preserved – the mosaiics are incredible!

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  4. This place looks so incredible! I’m a huge fan of ruins and this is something Id be interested to see in person. Thanks for sharing

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  5. The fact that Italica has all the characteristics of a Roman historical site sans the crowd already got me interested. Now when you mentioned the place was also featured in Game of Thrones the nerd in me grew more curious! I think I would love visiting this place. Thank you so much for writing about this less known place. Also those floor mosaics are unbelievably beautiful!

    Reply
  6. We are visiting Italica in June. Can anyone tell me if it is easy to self guide? Are there audio guides available at the site?

    Reply

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