Itálica: Trajan and Hadrian’s deserted treasure

Sevilla is a gorgeous place, and full of wonderful things. It is popular and busy, and understandably so.

But for some reason, the amazing Roman site of Itálica, a handy 30-minute bus ride north in Santiponce, was almost empty when I went. It is fantastic, and well worth a visit.

Half the site is covered with beautiful bushes and trees, and the other half is exposed to the harsh Andalusian sun.
There are brilliant mosaics, including one with the gods of the seven days of the week.

Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Sun (in most Latin-derived languages these are still parts of the names for the days of the week).

Remains of houses, baths, and other civic buildings are dotted around. There is even a lake, with wildlife, wildfowls and even swimming turtles (I saw several) which was created to prevent flooding of the site.

But the pièce de la résistance is the amphitheatre, atmospheric and well-preserved.

The whole thing is inspiring. And if you get the 9:30 bus from Sevilla, as I did, a three-hour trip around the site (which I found to be about the right amount of time) leaves you exiting and popping across the road just in time for the 1pm lunch opening time of a great steak house across the road!


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