Historic sites in Italy

Historic-Sites-in-ItalyIf you’re looking to discover Historic sites in Italy then you can use our interactive map or explore the list below.

From the most famous Italian sites, such as Pompeii or Rome's Colosseum, to the hidden gems such as Civita di Bagnoregio or the Valley of the Temples, there’s a fantastic selection of historic sites in Italy and you can plan some great things to see on your trips by browsing our selection.

Once you’ve explored the historic sites of Italy you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan out your own Italy history tour and then print off a free pocket guidebook.

Our database of Italian historic sites is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other historic sites in Italy, you can always add them to Historvius now by visiting our upload page.


Top Italian Destinations: Historical Sites in Rome

Historical sites in Italy: Regional Index

Italy: Editor's Picks

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1. Pompeii

Pompeii was an ancient Roman city whose incredibly well-preserved ruins now form a popular UNESCO World Heritage site.

Photo by archer10 (Dennis) (cc)

2. Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums house a comprehensive collection of artwork and historical pieces from throughout history.

Photo by albertopveiga (cc)

3. The Colosseum

Once the largest amphitheatre of Ancient Rome where gladiators, criminals and lions alike fought for their lives, the Colosseum remains a world renowned, iconic symbol of the Roman Empire.

Photo by Historvius

4. Civita di Bagnoregio

Known as ’Il paese che muore’ (The dying town), Civita di Bagnoregio is a stunning medieval city that sits atop an eroded citadel. Founded by the Etruscans 2,500 years ago, it has been continuously inhabited to present day. Accessible only by a long foot-bridge.

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5. Ostia Antica

The site of Ostia Antica contains the ruins of the port of ancient Rome and visitors can view some amazingly well preserved remains of the settlement.

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6. Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an iconic bell tower, renowned for its slanted stance.

Photo by Rosino (cc)

7. Florence Cathedral

Florence Cathedral, with its iconic ‘duomo’, is a world famous fifteenth century cathedral.

Photo by Historvius

8. Paestum

Paestum is a Greco-Roman site in Italy containing the stunning remains of three ancient Greek temples.

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9. Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte is an impressive thirteenth century fortified palace of Frederick II listed by UNESCO.

Photo by jimmyweee (cc)

10. Capua Gladiator Museum

Capua Gladiator Museum is a small archaeological museum connected to Campania Amphitheatre. One for Spartacus fans...

Italy: Site Index

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Acqua Marcia

Acqua Marcia is an ancient aqueduct of Rome built in the first century BC.

Photo by Helena (cc)

Alba Fucens

Alba Fucens is an ancient city in the modern town of Albe in the Abruzzo region of central Italy and is a stunning example of Roman ruins dating back to 303BC.

Aquileia Archaeological Area

The Aquileia Archaeological Area is home to the remains of an affluent Roman trading port.

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Aquileia Basilica

The Aquileia Basilica has a history dating back to the Romans.

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Arch of Augustus - Rimini

The Arch of Augustus in Rimini was built to honour the first emperor of the Roman Empire.

Photo by Historvius

Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine was a triumphal arch built by the Emperor Constantine the Great in 315AD.

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Arch of Janus

The Arch of Janus is an Ancient Roman triumphal arch in Rome.

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Arch of Septimius Severus

The Arch of Septimus Severus is a Roman triumphal arch built by the Emperor Septimus Severus to celebrate his military victories.

Photo by Sebastian Bergmann (cc)

Arch of Titus

The Arch of Titus is a Roman triumphal arch built by the Emperor Domitian to commemorate the victories of his elder brother, Emperor Titus.

Photo by Robert Nyman (cc)

Area Sacra di Largo Argentina

Area Sacra di Largo Argentina is the site of four Ancient Roman temples.

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Atrium Vestae

The Atrium Vestae in the Roman Forum was home to Ancient Rome’s only holy priestesses.

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Aula Ottagona

Part of the vast 4th century Baths of Diocletian, the Aula Ottagona is probably the best preserved original structure.

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Baia

Baia was once the summer retreat of Ancient Rome’s elite and is now an archaeological park outside Naples.

Photo by David Paul Ohmer (cc)

Basilica Aemelia

Basilica Aemelia was a commercial building of Ancient Rome located in the Forum.

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Basilica di Santa Croce

The Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, Italy is most famous for being the burial place of many of the city’s most iconic figures.

Photo by Justin Ennis (cc)

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Santa Maria Maggiore is a papal basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary a.k.a Santa Maria della Neve or Santa Maria ad Praesepem. This is Rome's major or principal church dedicated to St Mary.

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Basilica Julia

Basilica Julia was an Ancient Roman courthouse in Rome’s Forum.

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Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine

The Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine was an Ancient Roman meeting house, the remains of which stand in the Roman Forum.

Basilica of Sant Angelo

The Basilica of Sant Angelo is an eleventh century church partially made up of the remains of a Roman temple.

Photo by Stefano Costantini (cc)

Basilica Santa Maria in Cosmedin

The basilica sits at the Forum Boarium, the ancient cattle market. Many visitors flock here to see the famous Bocca della Verità, a large marble disc that was used in the Middle Ages as a lie detector.

Photo by Historvius

Baths of Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla were an Ancient Roman public baths and leisure complex and remain well-preserved.

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Baths of Diocletian

The huge Baths of Diocletian complex was built in the early 4th century and covers a vast area. Today elements can be seen in a number of buildings, including the National Museum of Rome.

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Boscoreale Villa and Antiquarium

The Boscoreale Villa and Antiquarium contains the remains of a Roman villa, destroyed during the eruption of Vesuvius, as well as an archaeological museum.

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Cagliari Amphitheatre

Cagliari Amphitheatre is a rock-hewn Roman amphitheatre dating to the second century AD.

Campania Amphitheatre

Campania Amphitheatre was second in size only to Rome’s Colosseum.

Photo by Jörg Schulz (cc)

Cannae Battlefield

Cannae Battlefield is the location of Hannibal’s greatest victory in 216 BC over a huge Roman army led Consuls Varro and Paullus.

Capua Archaeological Museum

Capua Archaeological Museum houses a collection of ancient artefacts and is next to an ancient Mithraeum.

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Capuchin Crypt

The Capuchin Crypt in Rome is an eerie underground vault, located beneath a medieval church, which contains the macabre remains of 4,000 Capuchin monks.

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Castel Sant Angelo

Castel Sant Angelo was the tomb of the Roman Emperor Hadrian later used as a fort.

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Castello di San Michele

Castello di San Michele is a medieval fortress turned luxury home, hospital and museum.

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Castelvecchio Museum

Castelvecchio Museum and Fortress is a 14th century medieval castle which now hosts a fine art gallery and museum.

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Catacombe di San Gennaro

Catacombe di San Gennaro are a complex of underground tombs in use from early Christianity to medieval times.

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Catacombs of San Callisto

The Catacombs of San Callisto are the largest and most famous of Rome’s Christian catacombs.

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Catacombs of the Capuchins

The Catacombs of the Capuchins in which thousands of preserved corpses dating from the sixteenth century onwards are displayed.

Chiesa del Gesu

The Chiesa del Gesu is an historic church in Rome notable for its artistic decorations, particularly its ceiling frescoes, and its place as the centre of the Catholic Jesuit Order.

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Chiesa di San Lucifero

Chiesa di San Lucifero is a baroque seventeenth century church in Cagliari built on the remains of a sixth century Christian necropolis.

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Circus Maximus

The Circus Maximus was the main sports stadium of Ancient Rome.

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Circus of Maxentius

The Circus of Maxentius is one of the best preserved Ancient Roman arenas in Rome.

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Coriano Ridge War Cemetery

Coriano Ridge War Cemetery is a World War II Commonwealth cemetery in Coriano in Italy.

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Cumae Archaeological Park

Cumae Archaeological Park in Pozzuoli houses a series of ancient ruins and artefacts and is thought to have been inhabited as far back as the Iron Age.

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Curia Julia

The Curia Julia was the senate house in Ancient Rome and part of the Roman Forum.

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Domus Augustana

Domus Augustana was the palace of Ancient Rome’s emperors on the Palatine Hill.

Photo by Historvius

Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini

The Domus Romane is an incredible Roman site found underneath the 16th century villa Palazzo Valentini, and located close to Trajan's Forum in the heart of what was once the centre of Imperial Rome.

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Flavian Amphitheatre

The Flavian Amphitheatre is a well preserved first century Roman structure in Pozzuoli.

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Flavian Palace

The Flavian Palace on the Palatine Hill was where Roman emperors held official functions.

Florence Archaeological Museum

Florence Archaeological Museum combines an impressive collection of Etruscan art with Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman artefacts.

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Fonte Avellana

Fonte Avellana is a picturesque medieval hermitage in Italy’s Marche region.

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Forum of Augustus

The Forum of Augustus was built by the Roman emperor to celebrate avenging Caesar’s assassins.

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Forum of Caesar

The Forum of Caesar was the first of the Imperial Forums built in Ancient Rome.

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Forum of Trajan

The Forum of Trajan was one of the Imperial Forums of Ancient Rome.

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Hadrian’s Villa

Hadrian’s Villa, or Villa Adriana, is perhaps the best-preserved Roman villa complex in the world. The site covers almost 250 acres and consists of over 30 buildings and a number of other points of interest.

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Herculaneum

Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town fossilized following the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

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Ludus Magnus

The preserved ruins of Ancient Rome’s largest and most prestigious gladiator training school, located next to the Colosseum in central Rome.

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Mamertine Prison

Mamertine Prison was an Ancient Roman prison in which Saints Peter and Paul may have been held.

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Mausoleum of Augustus

The Mausoleum of Augustus was the tomb of Rome’s first emperor.

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Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella

The Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella is a 1st century BC tomb turned medieval fortress.

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Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is an early 5th century Christian chapel in Ravenna that was thought to hold the tomb of Roman Empress Galla Placidia.

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Metapontum

The remains of the Ancient Greek city of Metapontum - part of ’Magna Grecia’ - include theatres, temples and drainage.

Photo by Allie_Caulfield (cc)

Monreale Cathedral

Monreale Cathedral is a twelfth century church near Palermo and an excellent example of Norman architecture.

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Monte Cassino War Cemetery

Monte Cassino War Cemetery is the biggest British and Commonwealth war cemetery from WW2 in Italy.

Photo by CapnOats (cc)

Monument to Victor Emmanuel II

The Monument to Victor Emmanuel II celebrates the first king to rule a unified Italy.

Photo by Friar's Balsam (cc)

Musei Capitolini

The Musei Capitolini in Rome host a huge wealth of artifacts and exhibits from the ancient, medieval and renaissance periods.

Museo del Sannio di Benevento

Museo del Sannio is an historical museum in Benevento which displays ancient and medieval artefacts from the local area.

Photo by Maurizio Zanetti (cc)

Museo Egizio di Torino

Museo Egizio di Torino has one of the world’s best collections of Ancient Egyptian artefacts.

Photo by Leandros World Tour (cc)

Naples Cathedral

Naples Cathedral was completed in the fourteenth century and houses the relics of San Gennaro.

Photo by virtusincertus (cc)

Naples National Archeological Museum

The Naples National Archaeological Museum holds comprehensive collections from the Greek, Roman and Egyptian eras.

Necropolis of Cerveteri

The Etruscan necropolis at Cerveteri in northern Lazio is one of the very best examples of its kind into the entire Mediterranean basin with a thousand tombs and is known as the 'City of the Dead'.

Necropolis of Pantalica

The Necropolis of Pantalica in Sicily contains over five thousand ancient rock carved tombs dated to between the 13th and 7th centuries BC.

Nora Archaeological Site

The Nora Archaeological Site in Sardinia houses ancient Phoenician and Roman ruins.

Palace of Septimius Severus

The Palace of Septimius Severus was magnificent extension of the Domus Augustana on the Palatine.

Photo by rmlowe (cc)

Palatine Hill

The Palatine Hill is known as the birthplace of Rome. It houses some of the city’s most impressive ancient sites.

Palazzo dei Conservatori

Palazzo dei Conservatori displays numerous important classical pieces. Part of the Musei Capitolini.

Palazzo dei Normanni

Palazzo dei Normanni is a Norman palace expanded from a ninth century Islamic building.

Palazzo Nuovo

The Palazzo Nuovo is an archaeological museum of Ancient Greek and Roman art. Part of the Musei Capitolini.

Palazzo Pitti

Palazzo Pitti was the home of the Medici family and now houses the Palatine Gallery.

Photo by Historvius

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio has been at the centre of Florence’s civic life since the fourteenth century.

Palermo Cathedral

Palermo Cathedral dates back to Norman times and was the site of coronations and royal burials.

Photo by Biker Jun (cc)

Pantheon

The Pantheon in Rome is one of the most famous and well-preserved ancient buildings in the world.

Pisa Cathedral Complex

The Pisa Cathedral Complex houses one of the world’s most celebrated ecclesiastical landscapes.

Ponte Rotto

Ponte Rotto is the remaining arch of a second century BC Roman Republic bridge.

Photo by PeterVisser (cc)

Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge") is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. It is the landmark of the city.

Photo by archer10 (Dennis) (cc)

Pyramid of Cestius

The Pyramid of Cestius is a tomb dating back to Ancient Rome.

Rimini City Museum

The Rimini City Museum is this city’s most extensive history museum.

Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery

The Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery is a World War II graveyard for Commonwealth forces in Rimini.

Rimini Roman Amphitheatre

The Rimini Roman Amphitheatre dates back to the second century.

Photo by Vvillamon (cc)

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum was the very centre of ancient Rome. Throughout the lifespan of Roman civilisation the Forum served as the focus of political, civic and religious life.

Roman Theatre of Benevento

The Roman Theatre of Benevento is a well-preserved semi-circular Roman theatre that was built under the Emperor Hadrian.

Photo by tillwe (cc)

Saint Mark’s Basilica

Saint Mark’s Basilica is a world famous Byzantine cathedral in Venice in Italy.

Salerno Cathedral

Salerno Cathedral is an eleventh century cathedral housing the tomb of Saint Matthew the Evangelist.

Photo by kevingessner (cc)

San Clemente

San Clemente is a church built atop a series of fourth and third century BC ruins.

San Giorgio degli Schiavoni

San Giorgio degli Schiavoni was a fifteenth century school of Venice’s Schiavoni community.

San Giovanni in Laterano

San Giovanni in Laterano is Rome’s cathedral, originally founded by Constantine the Great.

San Lorenzo Church

San Lorenzo Church in Florence is a fifteenth century church commissioned by the Medici family.

San Lorenzo Maggiore

The San Lorenzo Maggiore ruins in Naples are the underground remains of a Greek colony then Roman city.

Photo by Richard (cc)

San Pietro in Vincoli

San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains) is a Roman Catholic titular church and minor basilica in Rome, Italy, best known for being the home of Michelangelo's statue of Moses, part of the tomb of Pope Julius II.

San Saturnino Basilica

San Saturnino Basilica is one of Sardinia’s oldest churches.

Sanctuary of La Verna

The Sanctuary of La Verna is said to be the site where Saint Francis of Assisi received stigmata.

Photo by Oggie Dog (cc)

Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

An impressive 16th century church in Rome, built by Michelangelo using the structural remains of the ancient Baths of Diocletian.

Santa Maria in Trastevere

Santa Maria in Trastevere is thought to have been the first Christian church in Rome.

Segesta

Segesta contains the famous fifth century BC incomplete, but very well-preserved, Temple of Segesta.

Selinunte

Selinunte is an Ancient Greek archaeological site in Sicily containing the ruins of an acropolis and five temples.

Photo by jimmyharris (cc)

St Peter’s Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica is one of the holiest of Christian sites with a history dating back to Ancient Rome.

Photo by Oggie Dog (cc)

St Sebastian Catacombs

The St. Sebastian Catacombs are some of the earliest of the Christian catacombs in Rome.

Stabiae

Stabiae contains the ruins of both ancient Roman and Oscan civilizations, dating back as far as the 7th century BC.

Su Nuraxi di Barumini

Su Nuraxi di Barumini is a pretty UNESCO-listed prehistoric site in Sardinia and one of the island’s many nuraghe.

Syracuse Archaeological Site

The Syracuse Archaeological Site contains the impressive remains of an ancient city dating as far back as the eighth century BC.

Taormina Amphitheatre

Taormina Amphitheatre was first built by the Ancient Greeks in the third century BC and reconstructed by the Romans.

Tempio Malatestiano

Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini is a former Franciscan church turned lavish Renaissance mausoleum.

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina

The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina is one of the best preserved of the structures in the Roman Forum.

Temple of Caesar

The Temple of Caesar was built in honour of Julius Caesar. Its altar remains in the Roman Forum.

Temple of Castor and Pollux

The Temple of Castor and Pollux in the Roman Forum was built following a military victory.

Temple of Concord

The Temple of Concord was an Ancient Roman temple in Rome’s Forum.

Temple of Saturn

The Temple of Saturn was the site of the national treasury of Ancient Rome, the ruins of which stand in the Roman Forum.

Temple of Venus and Rome

The Temple of Venus and Rome was created under Hadrian and is located in the Roman Forum.

Photo by TyB (cc)

Temples of the Forum Boarium

The Temples of the Forum Boarium are two second century BC Roman republic temples.

Tharros

Tharros, in Sardinia, was founded by the Phoenicians and contains mostly Roman ruins.

Photo by Allie_Caulfield (cc)

The Ara Pacis Museum

The Ara Pacis Museum displays the Emperor Augustus’s Altar of Peace.

The Claudio Aqueduct - Rome

The Claudio Aqueduct is an Ancient Roman aqueduct which served Rome from 52 AD.

The Doge’s Palace

The Doge’s Palace of Venice is a gothic structure which housed the government of the Venetian Republic.

The Felice Aqueduct - Rome

The Felice Aqueduct in Rome dates back to the sixteenth century.

The House of Augustus

The House of Augustus on the Palatine Hill was the home of Rome’s first emperor.

The House of Livia

The House of Livia was the home of Augustus’s third wife.

The Palatine Hill Stadium

The Palatine Hill Stadium was part of the imperial palace of Ancient Rome’s emperors.

The Palatine Museum

The Palatine Museum exhibits ancient finds from the famous Palatine Hill in Rome.

The Protestant Cemetery of Rome

The Protestant Cemetery of Rome is the final resting place of famous non-Catholic poets, artists and philosophers.

The Regia

The Regia in Rome’s Forum was a royal residence turned office of the Pontifex Maximus.

Photo by Z_dead (cc)

The Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps are an eighteenth century staircase and a focal point for Rome’s tourists.

The Surgeon’s House - Rimini

The Surgeon’s House is an archaeological site which uncovers Rimini’s past from Ancient Roman times.

The Temple of Vesta

The Temple of Vesta was an Ancient Roman shrine now found on the Roman Forum.

Photo by the Italian voice (cc)

The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is Rome’s largest and most iconic fountain.

The Uffizi

The Uffizi is Florence’s world famous art gallery and was originally intended as the offices of Duke Cosimo I dei Medici.

Photo by liberalmind1012 (cc)

Theatre of Marcellus

The partially-preserved remains of one of the most important theatres in ancient Rome, built by Julius Caesar and Augustus.

Tiberius Bridge - Rimini

Tiberius Bridge is a first century Roman Bridge in Rimini.

Tomb of Eurysaces the Baker

The Tomb of Eurysaces the Baker is an impressive ancient tomb dating back to 30BC.

Trajan Arch of Ancona

The Trajan Arch of Ancona is an Ancient Roman monument to the Emperor Trajan.

Trajan Arch of Benevento

The Trajan Arch of Benevento is a 2nd century AD triumphal arch built for the Emperor Trajan.

Trajan’s Markets

Trajan’s Markets was an Ancient Roman administrative centre located on Trajan’s Forum.

Trani Cathedral

Trani Cathedral is a medieval church in Apulia, Italy.

Photo by niai (cc)

Trasimene Battlefield

Trasimene Battlefield is the location of major defeat of the Roman army by Hannibal during the Second Punic War.

Photo by Dani4P (cc)

Trebbia Battlefield

Location of the first major battle of the Second Punic War between Hannibal and the Roman consuls Scipio and Longus.

Urbino

Urbino is a beautiful UNESCO-listed walled city which was a creative hub during the Renaissance.

Photo by emilio labrador (cc)

Valley of the Temples

The Valley of the Temples is a UNESCO-listed site in Sicily housing the very well-preserved remains of several Ancient Greek temples.

Photo by hanjeanwat (cc)

Velia Archaeological Site

The Velia Archaeological Site contains Greek, Roman and medieval ruins of the city initially founded as Elea.

Photo by Historvius

Verona Arena

Verona Arena is a stunning Roman amphitheatre built in 30AD.

Photo by Oggie Dog (cc)

Via Appia Antica

Via Appia Antica, built in 312 BC, is one of the most important roads leading to Rome.

Photo by carolemadge1 (cc)

Villa dei Quintili

Villa dei Quintili is an extremely well-preserved second century AD villa in Rome’s suburbs.

Photo by Historvius

Villa Gregoriana

Villa Gregoriana is a park located in Tivoli, Italy.

Photo by Ava Lowery (cc)

Villa Jovis

Villa Jovis was the cliff-top Capri home of Roman Emperor Tiberius.

Photo by kudumomo (cc)

Villa Poppaea

Villa Poppea was the home of the second wife of the Roman Emperor Nero.

Photo by andrewmalone (cc)

Villa Romana del Casale

Villa Romana del Casale is a UNESCO-listed Roman villa in Sicily containing some of the world’s best preserved Roman mosaics.