Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Temple of Juno Lacinia

The Temple of Juno Lacinia is a ruined ancient Greek temple dedicated to Hera (Juno) located on Capo Colonna in Calabria. The remaining feature is a Doric column with capital, about 8.2 m in height. Remains of marble roof-tiles have been seen on the spot and architectural fragments were excavated in 1886–1887 by the Archaeological Institute of America. The sculptures found were mostly buried again, but a few fragments, ...
Founded: 480-440 BCE | Location: Capo Colonna, Italy

Castelseprio

Castelseprio or Castel Seprio was the site of a Roman fort in antiquity, and a significant Lombard town in the early Middle Ages, before being destroyed and abandoned in 1287. It is today preserved as an archaeological park. Castelseprio originated as a Roman fort that commanded an important crossroad. During the early Middle Ages, the Lombards occupied the Roman fort, turning it into a fortified citadel or smal ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Castelseprio, Italy

Nuraghe Appiu

Nuraghe Appiu archaeological park is surrounded by a suggestive and uncontaminated environment. It was probably born as anuraghe with only one tower, to which, later, other towers have been united, connected among them by corridors, outlining a quadrilobate figure. In its simple form the nuraghe is a flat-topped conical tower built with stones of varying size laid without grout (dry walls). The masonry consists of cou ...
Founded: 1800 BCE | Location: Villanova Monteleone, Italy

Megara Hyblaea

Megara Hyblaea is an ancient Greek colony in Sicily It was founded about 728 BC by colonists from Megara in Attica. In 628 the city established a colony at Selinus but in 483 was destroyed by the Syracusan leader Gelon. The city had a brief independent existence in the 4th century BC, when it issued coinage, but is heard of mainly as a fortified place. Excavations carried on in 1891 led to the discovery of the nor ...
Founded: 728 BCE | Location: Augusta, Italy

Morgantina

Morgantina is an archaeological site in east central Sicily. It was inhabited in several periods. According to Strabo Morgantina was founded by a pre-Roman Italian group known as the Morgetes of Rhegium. Dionysius of Halicarnassus wrote that the Morgetes were led by a king named Morges. The earliest historical date associated with Morgantina is 459 BCE, when Ducetius, leader of the indigenous Sicel population of central S ...
Founded: 5th century BCE | Location: Aidone, Italy

Ietas

Ietas was an ancient town in the modern comune of San Giuseppe Jato. Ietas was mentioned by Philistus as a fortress, and it is called by Thucydides a fortress of the Siculians, which was taken by Gylippus on his march from Himera through the interior of the island towards Syracuse. It first appears as an independent city in the time of Pyrrhus, and was attacked by that monarch on account of its strong position and the ad ...
Founded: 6th century BC | Location: San Giuseppe Jato, Italy

Archaeological area of ​​Cava d'Ispica

The Archaeological Park of Cava d"Ispica is located in the northern part of the valley which is extended among large and impressive gorges for about 14km. The monumental archaeological evidences which are currently visible have been found thanks to the excavations in the rock and they can be ascribed to three periods: the prehistoric period, the Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Evidences of the Ancient Bronze Age ...
Founded: 2200 BCE | Location: Modica, Italy

Diana Archaeological Park

The Archaeological Park of Lipari is located at the Diana district. In the park there are the remains of walls for a length of about 50 m, a tower of the 4th century BCE and some Roman fortifications built by Sextus Pompey. Behind the Greek walls there are buildings of the Imperial-Roman period (2nd century AD). Within the walls there is a street with some home facades of the Imperial-Roman period, mainly located under t ...
Founded: 4th century BCE | Location: Lipari, Italy

Scylletium

Scylletium was situated on the east coast of Calabria (ancient Bruttium), According to a tradition generally received in ancient times, Scylletium was founded by an Athenian colony, a part of the followers who had accompanied Menestheus to the Trojan War. But no historical value can be attached to such statements, and there is no trace in historical times of Scylletium having been a Greek colony, still less an Athenian on ...
Founded: 4th century BCE | Location: Catanzaro, Italy

Heraclea Minoa

Heraclea Minoa was an ancient Greek city situated near the mouth of the river Halycus (modern Platani). Excavations have revealed several parts of the city which are now open to the public. Archaeological finds from the necropolis show the city was founded in the mid-6th century BC. The first written mention of the city is of a small town and a colony of the Greek settlement of Selinus. The city was only briefly under th ...
Founded: 6th century BCE | Location: Cattolica Eraclea, Italy

Vigna Cassia Catacombs

The Vigna Cassia catacombs located next to thel Parco Archeologico Neapolis, owe their name to the family that owned the vineyard (at the time of discovery), which was located above the catacombs themselves. They were found in 1852 during excavations by the Commission of Antiquities and Fine Arts, which at the discovery of steps carved into the rock that led to about 15 meters below street level, decided to deepen the re ...
Founded: 3rd century AD | Location: Syracuse, Italy

Scurati Caves

The Scurati Caves are an ancient settlement and a speleological geological site located in the municipality of Custonaci. The site includes a total of nine caves. The largest cave is the Mangiapane cave, which is about 70 meters high, 13 wide and 50 deep. Numerous ancient findings have been found in the site including rock paintings. Guido Dalla Rosa first explored the area in 1870, surfacing ancient clues of a human pre ...
Founded: 18,000 BCE | Location: Custonaci, Italy

Temple of Victory

The Greek Temple of Victory (Greek Nikē) was located in the ancient city of Himera, today in the archaeological area of Termini Imerese. The temple dates to the fifth century BC and has been identified with the temple built by the Carthaginians at the command of the tyrant Gelon of Syracuse, who commanded the Greek coalition which defeated them at the Battle of Himera in 480 BC. Probably dedicated to Athena, the build ...
Founded: 5th century BC | Location: Termini Imerese, Italy

Giants' Grave of Su Mont'e s'Abe

The Giants' grave of Su Mont'e s'Abe is an archaeological site located in the municipality of Olbia. Like other giants' tombs of Gallura, it was built in two main phases of construction. In the first stage, during the period of the Bonnanaro culture, it was built an allée couverte tomb; later, in the second phase, during the age Nuragic age (1600 BC approximately), the allée couverte was transformed into a giants' ...
Founded: 1600 BCE | Location: Olbia, Italy

Pozzo Sacro Milis

Pozzo Sacro Milis is a Nuragic age sacred well with an underground chamber. It dates from the 1500 BCE.
Founded: 1500 BCE | Location: Golfo Aranci, Italy

Halaesa

Halaesa was an ancient city of Sicily, situated near the north coast of the island. The city was of Siculian origin; in 403 BC the tyrant Archonides of Herbita, having concluded peace with Dionysius I of Syracuse, gave the northern part of his territory to the Sicilians as well as to mercenaries and others who had helped him during the war. He named it Halaesa, to which the epithet Archonidea was frequently added for the ...
Founded: 403 BCE | Location: Tusa, Italy

Temple of Demeter

The so-called Temple of Demeter (the remains of which are located below of the church of San Biagio) can be dated between 480 and 470 BCE. This temple offers an interesting example of distylous building in antis, i.e.without an outer colonnade. It has a simple cella preceded by a pronaos (ante-room) with two columns. Still preserved from the original structure are the base (30 by 13 m approx and partly visible), the oute ...
Founded: 480 BCE | Location: Agrigento, Italy

The Monte Baranta Megalithic Complex

A pre-Nuragic settlement in Nurra at the extreme north-western edge of Sardinia is home to remarkable remains of an impenetrable fortress. Huge boulders create an impenetrable 100 metre long and 3 metre high wall. It’s the great wall of the fortress built by pre-Nuragic settlers to defend their wide fertile valley, and it is one of the most remarkable and massive settlements from the 3rd millennium BC in all of the Medi ...
Founded: 2500-2000 BCE | Location: Olmedo, Italy

Sybaris

Sybaris was an important city of Magna Graecia. The city was founded in 720 BC by Achaean and Troezenian settlers. Sybaris amassed great wealth thanks to its fertile land and busy port. Its inhabitants became famous among the Greeks for their hedonism, feasts, and excesses, to the extent that 'sybarite' and 'sybaritic' have become bywords for opulence, luxury and outrageous pleasure-seeking. In 510/09 BC the city was su ...
Founded: 720 BCE | Location: Cassano all'Ionio, Italy

Aqua Alexandrina

The Aqua Alexandrina was a Roman aqueduct located in the city of Rome. The 22.4 km long aqueduct carried water from Pantano Borghese to the Baths of Alexander on the Campus Martius. It remained in use from the 3rd to the 8th century AD. The aqueduct was constructed in AD 226 as the last of the eleven ancient aqueducts of Rome. It was built under the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus to supply his enlargement of the  ...
Founded: 226 AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.

Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.

The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.

Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.

The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.