Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Nuraghe Nieddu

Nuraghe Nieddu is the best preserved nuraghe (main type of ancient megalithic edifice found in Sardinia) in the region. The  single tower nuraghe is 11m high and dates probably from the second millenium BCE. 
Founded: 1800-1400 BCE | Location: Codrongianos, Italy

Lu Brandali Archaeological Site

The Lu Brandali site was discovered in the late 1960s by a young graduate Michele Careddu. It consists of a giants’ tomb, a nuragic village (seven huts have been excavated out of the 35 that exist and are still buried underground) and a nuragic tower.
Founded: 1400-1000 BCE | Location: Santa Teresa Gallura, Italy

Paludi Archaelogical Park

Castiglione di Paludi archaelogical park is a good sample of Magna Graecia ancient state architecture . It was in use from 9th to 3rd centuries BCE. The site comprises of remains of theatre, two round towers, houses and cemetery.
Founded: 9th century BCE | Location: Paludi, Italy

Varignano Roman Villa

Varignano Roman Villa is an ancient Roman residence in Varignano, now a frazione of the town of Porto Venere. Its site is marked by an archaeological museum. Its first construction phase dates to the 1st century BCE and it mainly consisted of a house surrounded by a farm linked to olive oil production. The site is beside the Seno del Varignano Vecchio, overlooking the sea, near the santuario delle Grazie and, to the nort ...
Founded: 1st century BCE | Location: Porto Venere, Italy

Casmenae

Casmenae or Kasmenai was an ancient Greek colony located on the Hyblaean Mountains, founded in 644 BC by the Syracusans at a strategic position for the control of central Sicily. It was also intended as a military forward-position on the Via Selinuntina road that connected Syracuse to Akragas (modern-day Agrigento) - also on that road were Gela and Akrillai to Casmene"s west and Akrai to its east. Destroyed b ...
Founded: 644 BCE | Location: Buscemi, Italy

Colonne di San Basilio

The Colonne di San Basilio (Columns of St Basil) are an ancient Greek structure, which take their name from the mountain of San Basilio where they are located, in the territory of Lentini. The summit of the mountain shows trances of ancient settlement from the prehistoric period, with clear traces of the postholes of a hut, probably belonging to the Casteluccio culture. A little way away is the imposing structure ...
Founded: 5th century BC | Location: Lentini, Italy

Gibil Gabib

Gibil Gabib is an archaeological site located about 5 km south of Caltanissetta, on a 615-metre-high mountain. Excavations were first undertaken in the area in the middle of the 19th century and were reprised with great enthusiasm in the 1950s by the archaeologist Dinu Adameșteanu. They came to an end in 1984. In those undertaken in the middle of the 20th century, remains dating to the 6th century BC were brought to li ...
Founded: 6th century BCE | Location: Caltanissetta, Italy

Sabucina

The archaeological park of Sabucina contains settlements ranging from the Bronze Age (20th-16th century BC) to the Roman period. The original village has securely pre-Greek origins, it was constructed by the Sicans, who took advantage of the dominant position of the mountain over the Salso river valley. The first phase of the Greek settlement came in the 7th century. The centre consisted of rectangular habitations, wi ...
Founded: 2300 BCE | Location: Caltanissetta, Italy

Mount Bonifato Archaeological site

The Archaeological site of Mount Bonifato is located in Alcamo. According to Licofrone of Alexandria, there was a village called Longuro on Mount Bonifato of Alcamo in ancient times. This settlement had been founded by a colony of Greeks who had escaped from Troy. The archeological site was probably inhabited from the 7th century BCE to the 12th century AD. From the 6th century BCE Mount Bonifato very probably had the st ...
Founded: 7th century BCE | Location: Alcamo, Italy

Vassallaggi

Vassallaggi is a Sicilian prehistoric Bronze Age archaeological site which had a later flourishing after the 7th century BC as a phrourion (fortress). The site is located in the middle of the Salso river valley, at 704 m above sea level, in a strategic location for communication between the southern coast of Sicily and the northern part of the island. The site first developed in the Bronze Age (18th-14th centuries BC), f ...
Founded: 1700-1300 BCE | Location: San Cataldo, Italy

Hippana

Hippana was an ancient town of Sicily, mentioned by Polybius as being taken by assault by the Romans in the First Punic War, 260 BCE. Diodorus, in relating the events of the same campaign, mentions the capture of a town called 'Sittana', for which we should in all probability read 'Hippana'. It sat astride the main road from Panormus (modern Palermo) to Agrigentum (modern Agrigento) upon Monte dei Cava ...
Founded: 7th century BCE | Location: Prizzi, Italy

Tauriana Archaeological Park

Tauriana or Taureana is an ancient city of the Bruttii which was located in the southern part of Calabria, in present Taurianova. The city, which stood on the south bank of the river Metauros (probably Petrace), marked the border of the territory of Reggio Calabria on the Tyrrhenian coast north-west, which began more than that of Locri. Later Roman and later Byzantine Tauriana was destroyed by the Saracens in the middl ...
Founded: 4th century BCE | Location: Palmi, Italy

Timpone della Motta

The Timpone della Motta is a hill two kilometers to the southwest of Francavilla Marittima. It is an archaeological site which was inhabited since the Middle Bronze Age. In the Iron Age the hill was the site of an Oenotrian settlement. Over time the settlement was transformed into an important sanctuary, which was notable as the site of the first known ancient Greek temples on the Italian Peninsula. The Oenotrians were in ...
Founded: 9th century BCE | Location: Francavilla Marittima, Italy

Romito Cave

The Romito cave (Italian: Grotta del Romito) is a natural limestone cave in the Lao Valley of Pollino National Park, near the town of Papasidero. Stratigraphic record of the first excavation confirmed prolonged paleo-human occupation during the Upper Paleolithic since 17,000 years ago and the Neolithic since 6,400 years ago. A single, but exquisite piece of Upper Paleolithic parietal rock engraving was documented. Sever ...
Founded: 17000 - 6400 BCE | Location: Papasidero, Italy

Naniglio Roman Villa

Built in the late first century BC, the Villa of Naniglio reached its maximum splendour in the third century AD. The main attraction of the villa is a huge, well preserved water reservoir, comprised of a central nave and two lateral aisles. The Naniglio is an underground structure consisting of a central nave and two side aisles, with a ceiling made of crossed vaults supported on eight square columns arranged in two rows ...
Founded: 1st century AD | Location: Gioiosa Ionica, Italy

Centuripe Roman Bath

Centuripe was founded by Greeks in the 5th century BC, but the Imperial Roman age has left the most impressive monumental remains. Grandiose monumental ruins, a rich complex of sculptures, numerous inscriptions: a whole series of elements seem to mark the accomplishments of a local family that, in the 2nd century, came to express a consul, a son of one of the components of the entourage of the emperor Hadrian. A large num ...
Founded: 5th century BCE | Location: Centuripe, 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.