Visit Italica, the Roman ruins where Game of Thrones was filmed

Visit Italica, the Roman ruins where Game of Thrones was filmed

When I visited Seville, I had to include a visit to the roman ruins of Italica. Not only because I love to visit Roman ruins, but also because it was a filming location for Game of Thrones season 7! The amphitheatre in Italica (in which 25,000 people could be seated) was transformed into the dragonpit of King’s Landing. Watch this clip to see the result. Italica is only about 10 kilometres from Seville, which makes a trip to Italica the perfect destination if you want to get outside the city.

Whether you like history, roman ruins, or simply want to stand on the same sand as half of the cast of Game of Thrones have stood. To be fair, in my case all of these reasons were equally important. Unfortunately, when I visited the site, the weather was absolutely rubbish. Everywhere, there were puddles and the ground had turned to mud. However, don’t despair! Most of the times, the weather in this part of Spain is very sunny.

What is Italica

But let’s not jump too far ahead: what is Italica exactly and how did it get this funny name (for those who’re confused, Italica is not in Italy!). Italica was one of the earliest Roman settlements in Spain. It was founded in 206 BC by the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio to settle the veterans from the Second Punic War. The Second Punic War was a war against the famous Hannibal (who took his elephants over the Alps), won by the Romans. Some centuries later, the city even produced two Roman emperors: Trajan and Hadrian.

And what about its confusing name? The name that was given to the settlement, Italica, reflected to the origins of the veterans that came to live in the place. Namely, they were auxiliary troops from Italy.

Roman mosaic

Highlights of Italica

The amphitheatre is probably the most impressive monument of the site. Nevertheless, you should not turn around when you’ve seen the amphitheatre, because a large part of the city can be explored. Although the city is in ruins now, you can still get a sense of the layout of the city. You can stroll down some of the ancient streets, now looking left and seeing the remains of what could have been a shop. Then looking right, and discovering what may have been a luxurious mansion, some pillars are still standing.

Sanne and the Roman amphitheatre
A Roman villa

You can also admire some beautiful Roman mosaics, such as the Neptune mosaic below. In the middle of the mosaic, you can see Neptune. He is the only one in colour. Surrounding him are all kinds of aquatic animals.

Not many tourists have discovered the site, so you can explore everything without masses of tourists. Even if you don’t know anything about archaeology or the Roman world, you can (with help of the signs) still figure out many buildings. So, what are you waiting for?

Neptune Mosaic

How to get to Italica

Italica is only 20-30 minutes away from Seville by bus, or 10-15kms by car. You can find more information about the opening hours on the website. Italica is perfect if you want to spend a morning or afternoon outside the city. Another perfect day trip from Seville is Cordoba, a city where many different cultures and religions have left their mark.

Where to stay when you visit Italica

Since Italica is very close to Seville, I recommend staying in Seville when you plan to visit Italica. When I was in Seville I stayed in the Nomad Hostel, which was without a doubt one of the best hostels I have ever stayed at. It has amazing beds, free breakfast and a perfect location.

5 Replies to “Visit Italica, the Roman ruins where Game of Thrones was filmed”

    1. Thank you for your comment <3. And you're completely right! I still need to find a way to visit Dubrovnik (aka King's Landing)

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