Visit Italica Spain – Birthplace of Roman Emperors

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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 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

Hadrian was responsible for the wall that crossed Great Britain and 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 here.

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

From the moment you enter you are funnelled towards the amphitheatre 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.

Italica Spain

This is Italica Spain

We absolutely loved visiting 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.

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 The Amphitheatre. 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.

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 best Roman Ruins in Spain are located 10 minutes from SevillaClick To Tweet

Italica as of late is one of The Game of Thrones locations in Spain where the 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 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 is set out in grid-like many modern cities. 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 Spain
The statue of Hadrian

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 amphitheatre Italica 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.

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.

Italica Spain

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.

Italica Spain
Amazing Mosaics of Italica Spain

How to get to Italica – Seville day trips

Taxi: We recommend that you get a taxi. 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 scehdule 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 Armas is the main bus station in Seville. The
Sevilla Santiponce runs bus 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: 

Italica Spain

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

Italica Spain

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
1 May
24, 25 and 31 December


EU citizens with proof of nationality: free.
Other nationalities: 1.50 €uro

How to get to Italica 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

Admission prices to the Blue Lagoon

There are 3 types of entry tickets to the Blue Lagoon. You can get comfort, premium and retreat spa tickets. As of April 2021, admission prices to the Blue Lagoon were as follows.

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 to use public transport and offers free and discounted entry in too many Seville Attractions.

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:

Seville has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, toApartments and Hotels rooms. Hostels in Seville can start from as little as $14 a night for a shared dorm room. HostelClub has a great selection of properties. Check out Trip Advisor for the top 5 ranked hostels in Seville.

You can book your stay directly from this page. You can search for Airbnb for there Seville accommodation offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing up and booking a stay right HERE

Hotels in Seville generally start from around $70 a night for a double room and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards 5 stars.  You can compare and book your stay on Agoda.

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 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.

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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!

  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.

  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!

  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

  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!

  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?


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