Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Kamarina

Kamarina was an ancient city on the southern coast of Sicily. It was founded by Syracuse in 599 BC, but destroyed in 552 BC. The Geloans, however, founded it anew in 461 BC, under the Olympic charioteer Psaumis of Camarina. It seems to have been in general hostile to Syracuse, but, though an ally of Athens in 427 BC, it gave some slight help to Syracuse in 415–413 BC. It was destroyed by the Carthaginians in 405 BC, re ...
Founded: 599 BCE | Location: Vittoria, Italy

Helorus

Helorus was an ancient Greek city of Sicily, situated near the east coast. It was probably a colony of Syracuse, of which it appears to have continued always a dependency. The name is first found in Scylax; for, though Thucydides repeatedly mentions the road leading to Helorus from Syracuse, which was that followed by the Athenians in their disastrous retreat, he never speaks of the town itself. It was one of the cities w ...
Founded: 8th century BCE | Location: Noto, Italy

Nuraghe Oes

The main tower and a secondary tower of Nuraghe Oes contain a single room, which was once divided into three spaces with wooden garrets supported by recesses, attached thanks to holes made in the walls. Dating back to a period between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age (9th-6th century BC), the Oes is a majestic work of Nuragic architecture, built using well-finished basalt rocks. The main building consists of a tower (keep ...
Founded: 800-500 BCE | Location: Giave, Italy

Cornelius Aqueduct

The Roman aqueduct bridge in Termini Imerese is the largest and best preserved in Sicily. The source was located 5 km east of the city, at the foot of Monte San Calogero where the remains of the two settling tanks can still be seen in the locality of Brucato. The aqueduct needed to cross the Barratina stream and the earliest the crossing was made at Fontana Superiore with a siphon about 600 m long, of which the well pre ...
Founded: 2nd century BCE | Location: Termini Imerese, Italy

Cave di Cusa

Cave di Cusa was an ancient stone quarry in Sicily. This site was quarried beginning in the first half of the 6th century BC and its stone was used to construct the temples in the ancient Greek city Selinunte. It was abandoned in 409 BC when the city was captured by the Carthaginians. It is now an official Sicilian Archeological Zone and a popular tourist site.
Founded: 559 BC | Location: Campobello di Mazara, Italy

Capo Soprano

Built in 333 BC along Gela"s western coastline at Capo Soprano by the tyrant of Syracuse, Timoleon, Gela"s ancient Greek fortifications are remarkably well preserved, most likely the result of being covered by sand dunes for thousands of years before their discovery in 1948. The 8m-high walls were originally built to prevent huge amounts of sand being blown into the city by the blustery sea wind. Today authoriti ...
Founded: 333 BCE | Location: Gela, Italy

Catacombs of Generosa

The Catacomb of Generosa is part of an archeological complex, rich of remains not just Christian, but also pagan. The catacomb is situated inside a hill and occupies a single level. The former entrance of the catacomb, just like other Roman catacombs, was inside a basilica, built under Pope Damasus I in the second half of 4th century, whose remains have been discovered by Giovanni Battista de Rossi in the 19th century. In ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Temple of Olympian Zeus

The Temple of Olympian Zeus, the second oldest temple in Syracuse after that of Apollo in Ortigia, rose in the ancient village called Polichne, in a panoramic position, slightly elevated. The Doric building, surrounded by large monolithic columns, appeared really impressive. Today, what is left of the huge building (which measured 20.50 meters x 60) is part of crepidoma and two columns of the south side. From it there ...
Founded: 6th century BCE | Location: Syracuse, Italy

Aqua Marcia

The Aqua Marcia is one of the longest of the eleven aqueducts that supplied the city of Rome. The aqueduct was built between 144–140 BC, during the Roman Republic. The still-functioning Acqua Felice from 1586 runs on long stretches along the route of the Aqua Marcia. Together with the Aqua Anio Vetus, Aqua Anio Novus and Aqua Claudia, it is regarded as one of the 'four great aqueducts of Rome.' It was ...
Founded: 144-140 BCE | Location: Rome, Italy

Villa Romana di Patti

The Villa Romana di Patti is a large and elaborate Roman villa. It was the seat of a rich latifundium estate, which until its discovery had few known examples except for the Villa Romana del Casale. The villa was discovered in 1973 during construction work on a stretch of the A20 motorway, when part of the north side of the villa was destroyed. Although excavation is continuing and many rooms still need to be revealed, ...
Founded: 2nd century AD | Location: Patti, Italy

Archaeological Park of Occhiolà

On the three ridges of the hill of Terravecchia it is situated the ancient area of Occhiolà, that developed him along an only principal road axle of medieval origin, it notices a great deal simple structures, typical of a country suburb. On the tall part the imposing castle was found, of which lean traces remain, among which a buttress realized with blocks of square stone. This hilly system that constitutes the greate ...
Founded: 5th century BCE | Location: Grammichele, Italy

Izzana Nuraghe

Nuraghe Izzana (the main type of ancient megalithic edifice found in Sardinia) is one of the largest in the island. It has two entries it dates from around 1500 BCE.
Founded: 1500 BCE | Location: Tempio Pausania, Italy

Sa Coveccada Dolmen

To the south of Mores, the mighty Dolmen Sa Coveccada is said to be the largest dolmen (a megalithic chambered tomb) in the Mediterranean. Dating to the end of the 3rd millennium BC, the rectangular construction consists of three massive stone slabs, roofed by a fourth, weighing around 18 tonnes. As it stands, it reaches a height of 2.7m, is 5m long and 2.5m wide.
Founded: 2000 BCE | Location: Mores, Italy

Albenga Amphitheatre

Built around the 2nd century AD, the Albenga amphitheater is still the only building of this kind known in the Riviera di Ponente. According to the portions of the wall that re-emerged in the excavations of 1973/75, it is believed that it had an elliptical plan of about 72.80 meters for 52.20 and that it could contain a few thousand spectators.Probably used only for gladiatorial shows, in history it was the scene of the ...
Founded: 2nd century AD | Location: Albenga, Italy

Palike

Palike was an ancient city on Sicily. Its archeological site is located in Rocchicella on a spur of basalt in the valley of the Margi river. There are no certain origins to this ancient town. Diodorus Siculus writes that it was founded in 453 BCE by the native Sikel leader Ducetius. It was named after the sanctuary of the Palici nearby. The city was surrounded by strong walls and grew rapidly because of the fertility of i ...
Founded: 453 BCE | Location: Rocchicella, Italy

Adranon

Monte Adranone is a mountain rising 899 metres above sea level in the north of the comune of Sambuca di Sicilia. At the summit of the mountain are the remains of the ancient city of Adranon, one of the more important archaeological sites in Sicily. Adranon was settled at the beginning of the 5th century BC, destroyed during the 3rd century BC, according to data from archaeological excavations. The city is distinct from t ...
Founded: 5th century BCE | Location: Sambuca di Sicilia, Italy

Thapsos

Thapsos was a prehistoric village in Sicily of the middle Bronze Age. It was found by the Italian archaeologist Paolo Orsi on the small peninsula of Magnisi, near Priolo Gargallo. In its vicinity was born the Thapsos culture, one of the most important prehistoric cultures in Sicily (identified with the people of Sicani). The site is notable for its village - the first known city in Sicily - and for its rich necropolis.
Founded: 1400-1300 BCE | Location: Priolo Gargallo, Italy

Pozzo Sacro di Predio Canopoli

The Pozzo sacro of Predio Canopoli is a sacred well, one of the best preserved well temples in Sardinia, has been discovered in 1923 and excavated by Taramelli. The monument has a typical plan of a nuragic well temple, with the atrium, stairs and the well located in underground chamber. The sacred well is constructed of very accurately treated limestone blocks.
Founded: 1300 BCE | Location: Perfugas, Italy

Pozzo Sacro di Sa Testa

One of the Gallura area’s most characteristic Nuragic landmarks is a sacred well where water worship rituals were performed. Pozzo Sacro di Sa Testa (The Holy Well of Sa Testa). It dates to between 15th and 13th centuries BCE and sits just outside of the town of Olbia. It is just under 18 metres long and made of granite, trachyte and schist cut into blocks that were then carefully finished. The external part is reminisc ...
Founded: 1400-1200 BCE | Location: Olbia, Italy

Caulonia

Caulonia was an ancient city of Magna Graecia on the shore of the Ionian Sea. In ancient times the shoreline of Caulonia lay 300 meter further seawards. There is no literary evidence for the foundation date of Caulonia, but archeological evidence shows that it was founded early in the second half of the seventh century BCE. Both Strabo and Pausanias mention that the city was founded by Achaean Greek colonists. In 389 BC ...
Founded: 7th century BCE | Location: Monasterace, 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.