In Italy there are many interesting historical ruins to see, the Colosseum is only one of the most famous ones.
So, today I’d like to talk about four of the most ancient ruins in Italy you probably didn’t know they existed and that you can visit.
The first of the most ancient ruins in Italy are those of Selinunte. Selinunte was an ancient Greek city in Sicily dating back between 628 and 654 BCE. Its ruins can now be seen in Castelvetrano.
The archeological site includes many temples and fortifications, a sanctuary and the necropoleis.
Only few ruins remains of some of the temples, as temple O and temple A, which have only the original basement and an altar.
Two of the most impressive temples are, instead, temple Y and temple E. Temple Y is known as the Temple of the Small Metopes. At least three different metopes can be seen: a sphinx, the rape of Europa and the delphic triad.
Also temple E shows some well preserved metopes. These are the marriage of Hera and Zeus, Athena killing a giant, Heracles killing an amazon and Artemis’ dogs killing Actaeon.
For info and bookings have a look at the official website of Selinunte.
2. VILLA ROMANA DEL CASALE
Villa romana del Casale is an ancient Roman palace in Sicily.
The villa was damaged between 469-478 during the domination of the Vandals and then, in the 12th century it was completely abandoned due to a landslide.
Villa Romana del Casale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site composed of more than 40 rooms. In this villa researchers found one of the largest, most important and well preserved collections of Roman mosaics in the world. Some of these mosaics date even back to the 4th century AD.
If you like ancient mosaics and happen to be in Sicily, this villa is a must to see.
3. ARENE CANDIDE
The Arene Candide is also one of the most ancient ruins in Italy. It’s located in Liguria, in Finale Ligure.
From 1942 on a series of rock layers ranging from the Upper Palaeolitich to the Byzantine period were discovered, together with incredibly well-preserved burial pits, bone fossils and charcoal fragments.
The most remarkable burial is the one called “Young prince”. There, the rests of a 15 years old male who died for a mortal wound below its chin were found together with some tools, food, animal bones and jewels. The rests date back to 23,500 years BP.
Many of the fossils found are now hosted in the Museum of Ligurian Archaeology on Genoa and in the Archaeological museum of Final in Finale Ligure.
For info and bookings have a look at the website dedicated to Finale Ligure’s Tourism.
4. TOIRANO CAVES
Toirano caves are one of the most famous karst caves in Liguria.
In Toirano caves you can admire impressive crystals, and stalactites and stalagmites.
In addition to these, you can also see 12,000 years old human feet, hands and knees impressions, a small lake inhabited by Niphargus crustaceans, bear bones dating back to 27,000-24,000 years ago, ancient pottery and calcite flowers.
For info and bookings have a look at the official website of Grotte di Toirano.
Have you already visited these four ancient ruins in Italy? Did you like them?
Original image by hbieser