The Roman amphitheater of Itálica near Santiponce, Spain
© Amazing Aerial Agency/Offset by Shutterstoc
Birthplace of Roman emperors
Just a few miles north of Seville, Spain, you’ll find the ancient ruins of Itálica, the first Roman settlement in what is now Spain and the first Roman city outside of Italy. The city was founded in 206 BCE by Roman general Scipio as a place to house veterans from the Second Punic Wars. Itálica was also the birthplace of at least two Roman emperors.
For centuries, Itálica was an elaborate urban centre with a temple, a theater, public baths, gorgeous homes for the monied elite, and a population of about 8,000 residents. This aerial view is of the city’s famous amphitheatre, where thousands of spectators came from near and far to watch the bloody gladiator fights, hunts of wild beasts, and public executions. The 'entertainment' here was not for the faint of heart.
Today, the modern Spanish city of Santiponce has grown up around – and even atop – the ruins. Tourists come here to walk the preserved Roman streets, admire the mosaics, and imagine the scenes of life and death that happened in this amphitheatre nearly 2,000 years ago.