Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Italica-Day Trip Seville to Roman Ruins

Italica is just 9 kilometers out of Seville, it's easily accessible by the public bus and if you like Roman Ruins, you'll enjoy Italica. Italica used to be a great city, it is after all the birthplace of Roman Emperor Trajan and probably Hadrian as well. While its pretty much in ruins today, there is still an amphitheatre you could look at, and some beautiful tiled floors and some pillars.

Getting there:

Bus 170A from Plaza de Armas (about 30 min walking from Cathedral) ---> Italica (bus drops you off right across from entrance)
Trip takes about 30 minutes, bus ticket and entrance ticket both around 2 Euros, Italica free for EU citizens.

To get to Italica you take bus 170A (bus schedule here) from Plaza de Armas, which is a walking distance from the Old Seville city center, and get off at the last stop of the bus, at the stop Italica. The buses run about every half hour, and you pay when you get on the bus. I don't recall the exact price but bus tickets probably cost around 2 Euros. The bus will drop you off right across of the entrance of the ruins. The tickets to the ruins weren't expensive either, probably around 2 Euros as well, and is free for EU citizens. If you happen to be an exchange student or a student of a European University, show your student ID and you can probably get in free as well (like my friend who is not an EU citizen but got in free with his Spanish student ID).

The day we went it was cloudy and gray, and there were quite a few visitors but it never felt crowded. Since there are hardly any buildings or coverings at the site, you do want to have plenty of water and sun protection when you visit. The only sun covering I can think of is the few trees around.

Here's the amphitheater, the busiest place at Italica.

You get a 3 fold pamphlet that provides some basic information of Italica, and once in a while there will be a small sign next to the site with additional information. Basically, if you are expecting to understand the ruins in depth, it will be hard with what is provided there, but you can a overview. Italica truly is in ruins, but that really brings out how old the place is, and how time has taken away the former glories of a great empire.

Some walkways around the amphitheater.

I have not seen Roman ruins before (okay, maybe I have, if the pillars in Cordoba count) and I was quite pleased with what Italica offered: the amphitheater may not be as grand as the one in Rome, but it did not feel crowded and touristy as the one in Rome (I haven't been, so I'm making an educated guess). Of what is left over of houses and shops, the beautiful mosaic bird floor was beautiful, I cannot imagine walking all over that work of art.
This bird floor is my favorite.

The farther you walk away from the amphitheater, the less people there were. The plains were wide and the gray clouds rolled on the open sky. I was happy to have close contact with an olive tree growing, again, the Mediterranean climate got me pretty interested. Away from the entrance are some water transporting ruins, and that was about it. I cannot image walking all over that place without a hat or sun glasses or sun umbrella (sun umbrellas are for anyone, it's not an Asian specialty) and plenty of water.

Since there was still about 20 minutes before our bus arrives, we walked back to the entrance and walked up a hill. Half way through the little hike we could see the amphitheater with a better view. Next to the entrance there was a tiny museum, or actually, a room with some printed displays that provided a little bit more about the place. We signed our names in the guest book, and went on our bus back to Seville. For a small period time, I left Seville, I felt I was out of Spain. If you have time in Seville, visit Italica.

The amphitheater seen from a little hill.

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