The 17 greatest ruins in Italy give insight into the vast eras and historical civilizations of ancient Italy, from Roman Empire relics to Etruscan relics.
In Italy, whole towns of ruins cling to the hillsides beneath volcanic mountains, crumbling stadiums formerly used by Roman gladiators exist in cities, and historic necropolises retain the memories of old civilizations.
There are hundreds of historic ruins to explore in Italy, and this list highlights some of the greatest to see whether you travel along the Gulf of Naples, the capital city, or to the island of Sicily.
Top 17 Famous Roman Temples in Italy
We aim to introduce you to the following overview of the most amazing ancient Roman temples that were found during an ancient Roman tour around the Mediterranean on this I and search for the services and entertainment facilities.
- Colosseum, Rome
- Roman Forum, Rome
- Pompeii, Naples
- Ostia Antica, Ostia
- Valley of the Temples, Sicily
- Paestum, Salerno
- Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli
- Segesta, Sicily
- Arena di Verona, Verona
- Herculaneum, Naples
- Pantheon, Rome
- Monterozzi Etruscan Necropolis, Tarquinia
- Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily
- Sassi di Matera, Matera
- Catacombs of Rome, Rome
- Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna
- Teatro Antico di Taormina, Sicily
Now, here we want to talk about them one by one in detail:
The Colosseum is one of the most well-known historical structures and ruins in Rome, Italy’s capital. Even though the circular stadium is nearly 1,900 years old, its gigantic columns still exist in the city in various degrees of ruin and restoration.
One of the top attractions to see in Rome, the Colosseum originally hosted more than 50,000 Roman spectators witnessing gladiator contests. As you look over the stands where thousands of ancient Roman residents and emperors would cheer on their favorite champions, you can sense the gravity of these momentous events.
Roman Forum, Rome
In Ancient Rome, the Roman Forum was the epicenter of social life. As early as 500 BC, religious, political, and social officials would convene in the open-air forum to discuss and determine the ancient city’s socioeconomic landscape.
The Roman Forum, intrinsically linked to the foundations of the Roman Empire, is one of the most significant ruins to see as you discover the Roman heritage and one of the best holiday experiences in Rome. The ruins of its arches, temples, and government structures provide a window into the old city center.
The southern Italian archeological site of Pompeii is a must-see for history excursions around Mount Vesuvius’s crater rim. You may explore the remnants of the settlement that was destroyed by a volcanic explosion in 79AD to learn about life under the control of the Roman Empire. Cobbled pathways, stone temples, amphora containers, and wall paintings commemorate events that occurred before the spectacular natural disasters that left Pompeii in ruins.
While exploring this historic location, you may explore the artifacts and enjoy spectacular views of Mount Vesuvius. After touring the historic city ruins, head down to the seaside to discover what else Campania’s regional capital is famed for: its culinary culture, which is reflected in the greatest Naples delicacies to taste on your trip.
Ostia Antica, Ostia
Ostia Antica is another Ancient Roman archeological site that takes visitors on tours of the theater, bathhouses, marketplaces, and more. These antique landmarks, now ruined, give a setting for your imagination to create recollections of Ancient Rome.
The famous remains of Ancient Ostia are well-preserved, and interpreters provide extensive information on what happened in the coastal city long before our time. An easy day journey from Rome will take you to the beautiful mosaics, marble statues, and medieval remains of Ostia, which had been abandoned by the 9th century.
Valley of the Temples, Sicily
The Valley of the Temples in Sicily is an Ancient Greek location on the Italian island notable for its Doric temples erected by the past civilization spanning Greece and the southern Italian coast. It is approximately 2,000 years old and one of Italy’s most important images of Ancient Greek art and architecture, with stylistic and design differences between Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman architects.
Each Doric temple commemorates a Greek god, with some displaying gigantic telamons, ancient load-bearing sculptures, and others displaying historical bronze statues and altars. When visiting the Valley of the Temples, you will see eight iconic temples in one trip, providing a comprehensive insight into the Ancient Greek colony in southern Italy and Sicily.
Paestum, with its Ancient Greek Doric temples dating back to 450 BC, is another example of Greek colonization in Italy centuries ago. The memories of the old Greek city previously known as Poseidonia are preserved in a large archeological complex with temples, residences, public squares, and statues.
Paestum, which honors the Greek deity Poseidon, offers a look into the tales and stories of the ancient world in and around the towering columns that support what remains of the temple ceilings. Even in ruins, these are magnificent specimens of Ancient Greek architecture. Due to its proximity to the Amalfi Coast, Paestum is easily accessible from the notable coastal villages on Amalfi Coast tours.
Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli
Between 117 and 138 AD, Roman Emperor Hadrian erected this palace as a retreat from Rome. The Ancient Roman Ruin is a work of architectural and creative genius that combines styles from Ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. The result was a magnificent rural estate complete with bathhouses, sculptural works, pristine gardens, theaters, private apartments, and more.
The ruins of Hadrian’s Villa preserve much of the opulent design, from marble statues to the peaceful moat, groomed lawns to underground passages. As you walk around the Italian remains, you can envision the regal mood that many Roman nobles must have experienced while staying at Hadrian’s Villa.
Segesta, Sicily’s famed Elymian monument, is a portal into the lives of ancient Sicilians. From circa 420BC, the Elymians of western Sicily lived in the culturally Greek Segesta city, and archeologists may identify its Greek cultural roots in the pottery left behind. The Doric temple is still visible to visitors on the Italian island.
Surprisingly, it was never completed, and several contradicting tales attempt to explain the origins of the edifice and city, which were created before Greek records but allegedly erected by Trojan immigrants. Exploring the island on Southern Italy excursions, you may discover Greek history stretching back to the Elymians in the Sicilian landmark of Segesta.
Arena di Verona, Verona
The Arena di Verona, Verona’s Roman amphitheater, was established in 30AD and is a great historical arena that is being utilized for festivals and plays today. Opera performances take center stage at the Arena di Verona, with thousands of people filling the stadium’s bleachers to witness the world’s best opera singers.
The Arena di Verona’s performances are amazing since the venue imbues each event with a historical aura. You may see your favorite performances from the same seats that Ancient Romans used to watch gladiators’ struggle. Because Verona is a short distance from Venice, visitors may visit the Arena di Verona on a day trip while on vacation in Venice.
Herculaneum, Italy’s ancient town, was established in honor of the Greek deity Hercules between the sixth and seventh century BC. The Mount Vesuvius explosion in 79AD destroyed the ancient hamlet, along with Pompeii. Herculaneum, on the other hand, was covered in volcanic ash and abandoned, and many buildings have survived archeological examination.
Some crumbling ruins exist in Herculaneum, while other sites are in reasonably good shape, but subject to degradation over time. Herculaneum is a historical treasure trove to visit after lunch in one of Campania’s top cities for cuisine, from the House of Galba’s cross-shaped water feature to the murals of Sacello degli Augustali showing fights between Greek and Etruscan gods.
The Pantheon, along with the Colosseum, is one of the outstanding Roman remains in Italy’s capital city. It is an ancient world relic in the center of the bustling metropolis, dating back to 125AD. The Pantheon is an ideal preserve of Ancient Roman history, still hosting Catholic masses inside its finely built dome structure to this day.
Visitors congregate outside in the main plaza to photograph its towering fortifications in all their splendor, while private tours of its interior allow you to bypass the wait. As you explore during the optimum time to visit Rome for a Pantheon tour, you may view its gorgeous paintings, marble flooring, an exquisite dome ceiling, and oculus.
Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily
estate Romana del Casale in Sicily was a splendid Roman estate that exemplified the historic pleasures of Italy’s old economy. Visitors touring the magnificent site are drawn in by the remarkable mosaics adorning the walls and floors. Thermal baths and basilicas further showcase the villa’s sumptuous design, which appears extravagant even by Ancient Roman standards.
The villa’s preservations are a remarkable illustration of the socioeconomic status gap in Ancient Rome, allowing visitors to draw a distinct line between the old civilization’s classes. The villa’s decorative splendor is wonderful to experience as you learn what distinguishes Roman commoners from the wealthy.
Monterozzi Etruscan Necropolis, Tarquinia
The 6,000 Etruscan tombs of Monterozzi Etruscan Necropolis offer a magnificent perspective of old Italy in the historical city of Tarquinia. The Monterozzi Etruscan Necropolis, as a resting place for ancient Etruscans, represents central Italian history dating back to the 8th century BC.
The inner walls of burial chambers are decorated with stunning Etruscan murals, little stone tomb constructions dot the landscape, and the museum exhibits antique objects like sculptures, ceramics, and coins. The burial sites serve as a strong reminder of how far Italy has traveled while also respecting the Etruscan civilization’s memories.
Catacombs of Rome, Rome
The Catacombs of Rome, Rome’s ancient underground burial chambers, are a dramatic and fascinating network of tunnels, with some of the oldest going back to the first century. From Jewish community-built tunnels to Christian graves, they exhibit a rich ceremonial past.
Parts of the catacombs are open to visitors, while others are mysterious and rarely explored. They have a creepy aura, yet they are a fascinating historical treasure with a wealth of discoveries awaiting visitors.
Sassi di Matera, Matera
Matera, Italy’s rocky outcrop city, is one of the country’s best-kept secrets, a treasure mine of historical findings going back to the Sassi settlements and 7,000 BC. Many consider the Sassi people to be among Italy’s oldest, making Sassi di Matera a must-see, with ruins revealing more about the intriguing people.
You may discover more about the Sassi people and tour the remains that lay among more contemporary buildings in and around Matera. You may walk down cobblestone alleys to barren underground houses and travel back in time with your guide, who will share what little we know about the ancient Italian cave inhabitants from southern Italy.
Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna
The Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna, built in the sixth century, is a remarkable Christian Byzantine structure that exemplifies the splendor of medieval Italy’s art and architecture. When compared to the other elements on this list, the church’s bright mosaics and intricate internal walls illustrate the unique design choices of a little more contemporary Italy.
Nonetheless, history spills from each painting, bursting within the basilica’s magnificently maintained walls. Ravenna is located in northern Italy, and visitors may see the historic church while exploring nearby cities and villages on the best Emilia-Romagna itineraries.
Teatro Antico di Taormina, Sicily
Taormina is a town in Sicily that is home to the spectacular Teatro Antico di Taormina ruin, an Ancient Greek theater on the Italian island that dates back to the 3rd century BC. It is a well-known ruin to see in Italy since it is the second-largest theater on the island and is located on a mountaintop with stunning views.
The Corinthian columns and wide performance area of the theater are exquisite ruins that show Italy’s ancient attachment to entertainment. You may experience the fantastic atmosphere as you tour the Ancient Greek performance theater on Italy’s island of Sicily, which hosted musicians and orchestras long before our time.