santiponce statue of hadrian

Heroic Roman Emperor Hadrian was born in Italica

Last Updated: Nov 8, 2018 @

santiponce amphitheater

The Italica amphitheater, third largest Roman one. This makes for a great Seville day trip.

Santiponce is nestled on the ruins of the old Roman city of Italica.  This post goes with the Podcast #2, where l try to describe the Roman ruins of Santiponce, a city which is about 6 miles north of Seville center. How to get to Italica ruins from Seville? Take the direct Seville Santiponce bus from the central bus station at Plaza de Armas or if you have a rental car, drive.


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Italica was founded in 206 BC by General Scipio, also known as “The African”. He used it to settle his war veterans from the Punic Wars against Hannibal and the Carthaginians. It was the first city outside of the Italian Penninsula. It was home to Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian. The city is also thought to be the birthplace of Emperor Theodosius.  Emperor Hadrian especially, was very partial to his birthplace and therefore thrived during his reign. It enjoyed great prosperity for a long time  and was a busy river port before it was eventually forgotten and people moved towards Seville. The city, in its heyday, was big enough to have its own Bishop as well as troops guarding the fortress. In 1740, Seville ordered the destruction of the walls of the amphitheatre and build a dam for the Gualdalquivir river. A lot of the stones were actually taken from Italica, and used to build Seville. It seems to be a constant work in progress. New things are being discovered as they dig up more of the ruins. The excavation work is visible as you tour the grounds of the old city.

me at santiponce

One of the best Seville attractions – a day trip to Santiponce Italica

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italica amphiteatre underground

Seville tourism must do. The Italica amphitheatre where the gladiators were kept.

 

santiponce italica ruins amphiteatre

Seville sightseeing should include a day trip to Santiponce. I can’t imagine how it must have felt, knowing you were walking to a certain death :-(

Italica was destroyed by floods that were frequent because it sat on the banks of the Guadalquivir river. The floods of 1603 buried Italica forever. The few survivors took off to higher ground and sought solace with the monks at the Monastery de San Isidro del Campo. With their help, they were able to build the new city of Santiponce almost entirely on top of the old ruins of Italica (old town).  Footprints of the old houses are still present. Cobblestone streets where the carriages come through are well preserved. There are pillars that have withstood the test of time. Tiles from the bath houses are intact, even after thousands of years. The Italica forum seats 3000 people. Saint Isidro of Seville had been buried in Italica. His remains were later discovered and transferred to Leon.

Amazing detailed tile work tat italica ruins

What to see in Seville. Amazing detailed tile work that has survived the elements.

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House of the birds

Italica Sevilla – House of the birds at the Seville Roman ruins

 

I can picture it in my mind

I can picture the old days of Italika Spain in my mind..


The amphitheater in Italika has a seating capacity of 25,000, and dates back to the times of Augustus. It feels surreal to be walking on the same arena that gladiators risked and lost their lives on thousands of years ago. Give yourself about 3 hours plus to be able to see and appreciate everything. Entry fee is only 0.75 cents! I was completely gobsmacked! I think they would make more money if they just put a bucket out there for donations or something.

Italica Seville opening hours: Santiponce italica ruins is closed on Mondays and open the rest of the week till 6pm. I highly recommend a trip to Santiponce to see how the Romans lived in the past. It is obvious that there was a lot of prosperity in the old city. The preservation is amazing because even though there is the new city of Santiponce built on top, it did not cover all of the ancient ruins.

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man at italica ruins seville

Things to see in Sevilla include a day trip to Santiponce for the Italika ruins

 

Way to the upper seats at italica ruins

Way to the upper seats. Just take the Santiponce Sevilla bus from plaza de Armas to get here from Seville center

 

Gladiator Table at italika ruins

One of the best Seville Spain sites it the Italica ruins – here is the Gladiator Table in all its faded glory.

 

garden at Italica ruins

Best day trips from Seville includes a visit to the Italica Santiponce ruins. Lovely views.

 

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street in Italica Santiponce ruins

One of the best Roman sites in Spain for sure. Discovering the city of Italica.

 

italica amphiteatre entrace in Santiponce Seville

Entrance to the Italica amphitheater, one of the best tourist sites in Seville Spain

The Monastery San Isidoro del Campo is about a mile away from the Italica ruins and should be combined as a day trip from Seville.

Related Reading: Seville Giralda

altar at san isidoro monasterio santiponce seville

Visita Sevilla – just a short distance from the Santiponce italica ruins, one should make a day trip from Seville.

 

courtyard san isidoro monasterio seville santiponce

Visitas guiadas Sevilla – Visit the San Isidoro monasterio

Related ReadingCarmona Fortress

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San Isidoro del campo – many religious paintings can be found in this small but chock full of history monastery.

 

roof at san isidoro monastery

Monumentos de Sevilla – Best day trip from Seville combines Italica ruins with a visit to San Isidoro monastery

The monastery has two churches. One is the church of Juan Alonso Perez de Guzman, the founder of the monastery in 1301. The other is the church of Alonso Perez de Guzman, his father. There is a tower, a belfry and five cloisters. It is of Gothic and Moorish design.

san isidoro seville

San Isidoro Seville – amazing treasure trove. Combine with Santiponce for an wesome day trip from Seville

The monastery owned numerous properties, including the town of Santiponce (old town with the ruins). There is ongoing restoration, and some of the parts are closed to the public still after 12 years. It is free entry and is closed on Mondays.

san isidoro monasterio seville

El monasterio de San Isidoro del Campo in Santiponce – a nice visit that can be combine with the Santiponce Italica Ruins from Seville

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Emperor Hadrian who was born in Santiponce, Seville #hadrian #emperor #seville #spain #daytripseville #italica #ruins #italicaamphiteater

Roman Emperor Hadrian who was born in Santiponce, Seville.

 

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What do you think of Seville’s version of the Colosseum? Am l tempting you to consider visiting Andalusia?  Spain is not just about Barcelona and Madrid you know? :-)

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