Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Segesta Greek Theatre

Built in the 3rd century BCE in the Hellenistic period but under Roman domination, the Segesta Greek Theatre comprises a perfect, vast semicircle 63 metres in diameter situated on a rocky slope: the steps face towards the hills behind which, to the right, the gulf of Castellammare can be discerned. Every year, in summer, the theatre comes to life and fills with spectators ready to enjoy, in a timeless moment, the tragedie ...
Founded: 3rd century BCE | Location: Calatafimi-Segesta, Italy

Valley of the Temples

The Sicilian town of Agrigento was an important Greek colony in the 6th century BC and today it has some of the best preserved Greek remains outside of Greece itself. The Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi) contains a number of ruined temples in a spectacular countryside setting. Temple of Concordia Due to its good state of preservation, the Temple of Concordia is ranked amongst the most notable edifices of the Gre ...
Founded: 500 BCE | Location: Provincia di Agrigento, Italy

Villa dei Misteri

The Villa of the Mysteries (Villa dei Misteri) is a well-preserved suburban Roman villa on the outskirts of Pompeii, southern Italy, famous for the series of frescos in one room, which are usually thought to show the initiation of a young woman into a Greco-Roman mystery cult. These are now probably the best known of the relatively rare survivals of Ancient Roman painting. Like the rest of the Roman city of Pomp ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Pompei, Italy

Brescia Roman Theatre

The Roman amphitheatre in Brescia is located immediately at east of the Capitolium. It has been built in the Flavian era and altered in the 3rd century. With its 86 meters diameter, is one of the largest Roman theatres in northern Italy and originally it housed around 15,000 spectators. In the 5th century, an earthquake has heavily damaged the building. In addition, in later centuries, its remains were incorporated ...
Founded: 69-96 AD | Location: Brescia, Italy

Temple of Minerva Medica

The erroneously named Temple of Minerva Medica is, in fact, a ruined nymphaeum of Imperial Rome, built in the 4th century. Nymphaeum is a building devoted to the nymphs and often connected to the water supply. The decagonal structure in opus latericium is relatively well preserved, the full dome having collapsed only in 1828. It is surrounded on three sides with other chambers added at a later date. There is no mention o ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Roman Theatre

The Roman Theatre in Aosta was built in the late reign of Augustus, some decades after the foundation of the city (25 BC), as testified by the presence of pre-existing structures in the area. There was also an amphitheatre, built during the reign of Claudius, located nearby. The theatre occupies three blocks annexed to the ancient city walls, along the Roman main road (the decumanus maximus, next to the Porta Pra ...
Founded: around 0-10 AD | Location: Aosta, Italy

Baths of Trajan

The Baths of Trajan were a massive thermae, a bathing and leisure complex, built in ancient Rome starting from 104 AD and dedicated during the Kalends of July in 109. Commissioned by Emperor Trajan, the complex of baths occupied space on the southern side of the Oppian Hill on the outskirts of what was then the main developed area of the city, although still inside the boundary of the Servian Wall. The baths were being ut ...
Founded: 104 AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Porta Pretoria

Situated on the eastern section of the walls, Porta Pretoria provided the main access to the city of Augusta Praetoria. It was built in 25 BC after the defeat of the Salassians by Terenzio Varrone. It had three openings, which are still visible today: the central one for carriages and the side openings for pedestrians. The area inside the openings was used as a troop parade court, in its southern section, the land was du ...
Founded: 25 BC | Location: Aosta, Italy

Roman Amphitheatre of Syracuse

The Roman amphitheatre is located in the ancient suburb of Neapolis, in what is now an archaeological park, near the Greek theatre and the Altar of Hieron. The amphitheatre is on a different orientation to these other structures and probably follows the lines of an urban plan developed in the late classical period, which is reflected by the street discovered near the Sanctuary of Demeter in the suburb of Achradina. The ma ...
Founded: 1st century AD | Location: Syracuse, Italy

Milan amphitheatre

The Milan amphitheatre was built near the Porta Ticinese in the 2nd-3rd centuries AD when Mediolanum grew as economical and political importance while Rome declined. It remained in use until the city was one of the capitals of the Western Roman Empire (4th or 5th centuries). Later it was abandoned after Christianity imposed an end to arena games, but also as, in the wake of the imperial crisis, animals to be used in the ...
Founded: 2nd century AD | Location: Milan, Italy

Flavian Amphitheater

The Flavian Amphitheater is the third largest Roman amphitheater in Italy. Only the Roman Colosseum and the Capuan Amphitheaters are larger. It was likely built by the same architects who previously constructed the Roman Colosseum. It was begun under the reign of the emperor Vespasian and probably finished under the reign of his son Titus. The arena can hold up to 50,000 spectators. The interior is mostly intac ...
Founded: 1st century AD | Location: Pozzuoli, Italy

Monte d'Accoddi

Monte d"Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in the territory of Sassari. The site consists of a massive raised stone platform thought to have been an altar. It was constructed by the Ozieri culture or earlier, with the oldest parts dated to around 4,000–3,650 BC. The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have bee ...
Founded: 4000-3600 BCE | Location: Sassari, Italy

Capitolium of Brixia

The Capitolium of Brixia was the main temple in the center of the Roman town of Brixia (Brescia). It is represented at present by fragmentary ruins, but is part of an archeological site, including a Roman amphitheatre and museum in central Brescia. The temple was built in 73 AD during the rule of emperor Vespasian. The prominent elevated location and the three identifiable cellae, each with their own polychrome marbl ...
Founded: 73 AD | Location: Brescia, Italy

Catacombs of Saint Gaudiosus

The Catacombs of Saint Gaudiosus are underground paleo-Christian burial sites (4th-5th century BC), located in the northern area of the city of Naples (now Stella district). The catacombs were probably occupied on a pre-existing Greek-Roman necropolis in the district known nowadays as Rione Sanità, that was uninhabited at that time. According to tradition, it was the burial site of St. Gaudiosus, a bishop arrived ...
Founded: 4th-5th century AD | Location: Napoli, Italy

Via Appia Antica

The Appian Way was a Roman Road built in the 4th century BC. It led from Rome to Brindisi, and the section leading away from Rome is lined with the mausolea of weathy Roman citizens.
Founded: Early Roman | Location: Rome, Italy

The Seven Halls

The Seven Halls, or Sette Sale, is the name of the complex of cisterns located on the Oppian Hill. Previously believed to be connected to Nero"s Domus Aurea, they were later found to be a large cistern supplying the Baths of Trajan. The cisterns were fed by a branch of the Trajanic Aqueduct. Found beneath the complex were the remains of a grotto lined with slabs of marble belonging to the Domus Aurea. In the fourth c ...
Founded: c. 100 AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Cerveteri Etruscan Necropolis

Cerveteri town famous for the site of the ancient Etruscan city which was one of the most important Etruscan cities with an area more than 15 times larger than today"s town. It was one of the city-states of the Etruscan League and at its height, around 600 BC, its population was perhaps around 25,000 - 40,000 people. The most famous attraction of Cerveteri is the Necropoli della Banditaccia, which has been declare ...
Founded: 800 BC | Location: Cerveteri, Italy

Motya

Motya was an ancient and powerful Phoenician city on San Pantaleo Island.  Many of the city"s impressive ancient monuments have been excavated and can be admired today. The city, founded at the end of the 8th century BC, soon became one of the most important Phoenician colonies; thanks to its proximity to Africa it was one of the first obligatory transit routes towards Spain, Sardinia and Central Italy.The Phoenici ...
Founded: 8th century BCE | Location: Marsala, Italy

Nuraghe Santu Antine

Nuraghe Santu Antine, also known as 'Sa domo de su re' ('The house of the king') is an ancient megalithic edifice built by the Nuragic Civilization in Torralba, one of the largest in Sardinia. It is located in the centre of the Cabu Abbas plain. The main structure was built around the 19-18th century BC, and the other parts of the nuraghe date back to the 17th–15th century BC. The main tower original ...
Founded: 1800-1400 BCE | Location: Torralba, Italy

Domus Romana

In Peschiera del Garda is possibile to find the rests of a roman village, of the end of the 1st century BC. Scholars think that this area is the “roman victus” of the “Arilica”, that is the boat association which managed the shipyard traffic of the South Lake Garda. The main excavations were between 1974 and 1981, by the regional board of the ministry of cultural heritage and environmental conserva ...
Founded: 1st century BC | Location: Peschiera del Garda, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cesis Castle

German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.

In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).

In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.

Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.