Italica is one of the most fascinating archeological sites on the peninsula, and we want to help you prepare for your visit there and enjoy it.
Located in Santiponce, just 10 kilometers from Seville, this Roman city founded in 206 BC was the first in Hispania and outside of Italy. However, some indications confirm that the Argarics and Greeks previously occupied the area.
After we visit this fascinating archaeological site, considered one of the places to see in Andalusia, we will leave you all the information about visiting Italica. You can also take day trips from Seville with no car. Let’s start!
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A Complete Guide To Visit Italica In Seville – Tickets, Location, Attractions
Founded by Publius Cornelius Scipio, the African, Italica was born after the Battle of Ilipa against the 70000 Carthaginian infantry. This is a number at that time far superior to the Roman, but much less strategic.
After he won, the Africans decided to create a detachment of soldiers in the area, where Turdetans had lived since the fourth century BC. Although, at first, they coexisted peacefully, it did not take long for the Romans to impose their social and political ways.
After a few years, the city became a metropolis, after growing in a meaningful way, becoming the birthplace of the Roman emperors Hadrian and Trajan in the second century, with an extension of 52 hectares.
Finally, and after two centuries, the city entered its decline, coinciding with the first stage of the fall of Rome.
What to see in Italica
Something important to keep in mind is that there are many places to see in Italica, so before listing them, we recommend you have at least 2 hours to visit.
In addition to this, in case you do not want to miss any detail and want to know the history and the most important places, it is highly recommended to book an excursion to Italica from Seville or this free tour of Italica, considered one of the best free tours in Seville.
Walls of Italica
The first historical data we have of the walls of Italica, built as a defense for the city, are from the mid-first century BC. Still, it was not until the second century AD, when they did not reach their maximum perimeter, which is more than 3000 meters and has a thickness of 1.5 meters.
As one of the symbols and icons of the Roman city, the theater is undoubtedly one of the most amazing places to see in Italica, and it is also the oldest building on the archaeological site.
It had a capacity for 25,000 spectators and three levels of bleachers, almost double what we can see today. Italica’s amphitheater is one of the largest amphitheaters in history. Under the floor, there is a pit recommended by the gladiators and beasts before their shows, which can still be seen today.
The amphitheater was located outside the city and was accessed through the Triumphal Gate. Since gladiators arrived before the fight, it’s interesting to know that it featured scenes from Game of Thrones in the curiosity.
During the first century BC and the first century AD, the theater was in use until the V century, when the city entered a decline. It was abandoned altogether, causing the locals to turn into pens and warehouses and even burial grounds in medieval times.
Despite its abandonment, the building remains and its location in writings from the eighteenth century and in 1940, part of it was discovered as the result of renovations on one of the houses on the hill.
Still, it was not until 1970 when small studies were started and completed in 1980. It was restored several times afterward, resulting in the Teatro de Italica, which celebrates the Theater Festival of Italica today.
The Baths of Italica
Another of the places to see in Italica are the baths, which in this case were formed by two complexes, the Termas Mayores or Termas de la Reina Mora, located in the old city, and the Termas menores or Termas de Trajano, situated in the new city, which unfortunately at the time was the most plundered area of the city.
Each had different rooms, including hot water pools, cold water pools, warm water pools, and the shroud and exercise room.
Although initially there was evidence of a first aqueduct in the city, which carried water from Tejada la Nueva to Italica, through about 37 kilometers, thanks to some writings and several visible remains, and after some work by the Hydrographic Confederation of the Guadalquivir in 1974.
Some remains were found of what was thought to be a single aqueduct, which carried water to the old city.
Later, after constructing the new city and needing more water, an extension was built to supply water to this city’s new area.
The houses – Another of the must-see places in Italica
At the height of Italica’s splendor, houses were built for wealthy families and essential personalities.
Traditional Roman architecture was used to design these houses, which included internal courtyards incorporating the Hellenistic aesthetic favored at the time.
Although you can see many of them throughout the archaeological site, the most significant Domus to see in Italica are the following:
Casa de la Exedra:
This is one of the largest houses to see in Italica with almost 4000 square meters. Although it is not known precisely what function it had, it has been classified as a house because of its architecture. Due to its size, however, it could have been a public building in which perhaps the owners also lived.
House of Neptune:
Also considered a semi-public building due to its dimensions of practically 6000 meters, touring the excavated areas of the House of Neptune is undoubtedly another of the things to do in Italica.
House of Hylas:
This is another of the most luxurious houses in Italica. However, it has not been fully excavated, so it is unknown where the entrance was. Still, a courtyard in the north area communicates with an anteroom which in turn communicates with a room in the Hylas mosaic, which gives the building its name.
House of the Birds:
This is one of the most important houses to see in Italica for several reasons, including its good state of preservation, being the first house that was fully excavated in the site and is the place where several beautiful mosaics are located, among which stands out a mosaic in which you can see different birds and which also gives its name to the house.
House of the planetarium:
Known for being one of the most luxurious and important houses in Italy, this one was built between 117-138, has 1600 meters of space, and was made for the elite of the city, which is evident by the quality of finishes the outstanding location of the house.
Another of the most important features is the mosaic found in one of the rooms that give its name to the house and represent the planetary divinities that provide a name to each of the days of the week in the Roman calendar.
How to get to Itálica
There are several ways to get to Italica, in Santiponce and about 10 kilometers from Seville.
This is the easiest and most comfortable way to have total freedom of schedule and movement by car. Additionally, there is a large parking lot right at the entrance.
Using a car in Andalusia, we recommend you make this visit before making your way through the Places to See in Seville. This will allow you to leave the car in the city and not have to move it.
Bus: The bus M-170A stops at the Plaza de Armas in Seville and stops at Italica. The trip takes about 45 minutes, although it depends on traffic.
Prices, Tickets, and Schedules of Italica
We leave you with the details you need to visit Italica, such as schedules, fares, and how to buy tickets.
The opening hours of Italica are as follows:
From January 1 to March 31: Tuesday to Saturday, from 09 am to 18 pm / Sundays and holidays from 09 am to 15 pm / Monday closed.
From April 1 to June 15: Tuesday to Saturday, from 09 am to 20 pm / Sundays and holidays from 09 am to 15 pm / Monday closed.
June 16 to September 15: Tuesday to Sunday and holidays, 09 am to 3 pm / Monday closed.
From September 16 to December 31: Tuesday to Saturday, from 09 am to 18 pm / Sundays and holidays from 09 am to 15 pm / Monday closed.
Please note that Italica is closed on Mondays, January 1 and 6, May 1 and December 24, 25, and 31.
The price of Italica is free if you are a citizen of the European Union. If you are not, the price is 1.5 euros per person.
Remember that this price does not include a guide and that tickets can be purchased directly at the entrance.
Tips for visiting Italica
- Although it is fine to make a route through Italica at any time, keep in mind that temperatures in this area can be quite high, especially in summer, so if you are visiting at that time, we recommend visiting in the morning or late afternoon.
- Keep in mind that although the route is on flat terrain, it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes.
- It is not possible to buy water inside the archaeological site, so it is necessary to bring it from outside.
- The parking, as mentioned above, is free of charge.
Where to stay near Italica
Italica is located less than 10 kilometers from Seville, making it the most convenient place to visit.
Among the best areas to stay in Seville is the Barrio de Santa Cruz, as it is close to most places of interest and has a wide range of restaurants.
The Hotel Doña Lina and the Hotel Doña Manuela are among the best options. Both are located a few meters from the Alcazar gardens.
If you have a higher budget, you can opt for the Hotel Rey Alfonso X, located near the Giralda, with the best quality/price ratios and one of the city’s icons.