The Romans invaded southern Spain in 206 BC and while you’re marvelling the views from your ANDALUCIA HOLIDAY VILLAS spare a thought for those Romans as they marched across the beaches and fought the Iberians at Alcala del Rio just outside Seville. This is the site that the Romans founded Italica, led by General Publius Cornelius Scipio. Originally founded as an important military outpost the name Italica referenced the first inhabitants who had come from Italy. You can imagine the hustle and bustle of Roman life on these hot beaches, where architects busy with the new constructions, laying plans for the great new city. Workers hammered home the minute pieces of mosaic and the massive amphitheatre, one of the largest most impressive in the Roman Empire. Gladiators training nearby some with nets and pikes, others with short swords while still others work upon the new road cobbles laid down to keep it flat, with guttering for the rain water and other waste. Somewhere over to the outer edge of the city is the aqueduct providing fresh water to the new citizens and to the House of Neptune, where officials would be found basking in the warm thermal baths discussing the news of the House of the Planetarium, with its hexagonal mosaics depicting the seven gods.

Many of the buildings mentioned can be seen when you go to Italica and when you do you'll see the distinguishably two zones of the old city built by the Romans: The Vetus Urbs (“Old City”) founded by the general Scipio and the Nova Urbs (“New City”) which was founded by Aelius Hadrian in 76 AD. The amphitheatre is surrounded by a wooded park and is in reasonably good condition you can wonder through tunnels that would have been used by the gladiators of the time. The streets still have much of the original cobbles and the guttering remains, several buildings have been uncovered revealing great mosaics still intact and well preserved. The Vetus Urbs now lies below the village of Santiponce while the Nova Urbs are the parts of the Roman city that is displayed. Excavations have been going on here since 1781 and the city is so large that it's believed that excavations will never be completed. Out of the buildings that still stand are the House of Planetarium and the House of Birds which has been partially restored.

Every year Italica hosts an International festival; Italica was the birthplace of three of the many Emperors of Rome. It became eventually one of the most important military posts during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD although later during the Middle Ages the stone that had originally been used to build the city of Italica was taken to help build Seville. The sad decline of this once important city for the Romans came about after the Moors took over the land from the Romans; unfortunately the river that had been the source of fresh water for Italica changed course and so the Moors completely abandoned the City. It is a marvellous place to visit and walking along the cobbled streets reminds you of the Romans that once inhabited this city, so when your here in your ANDALUCIA HOLIDAY VILLAS take a moment to take in this historical monument.

Author's Bio: 

Porsche is an avid writer about her travels throughout Spain. She enjoys writing about holiday locations and at present is writing for, about all of the little special hideaways around this wonderful country. So if you are thinking about a holiday in Spain read all about what you can do on your trip through Porsche and book your HOLIDAY RENTALS IN SPAIN with the OWNERS DIRECT.