Italica Amphitheatre

It’s not a famous amphitheatre like the Colosseum or Pozzuoli. It’s not even listed on the list of top Roman ruins — none from Spain are. However, because of this Italica is largely overlooked and is a peaceful few hours of exploration.

The Amphitheatre is large. It’s rumoured to be able to seat 20,000 people. I could find no official statistics, but it seems plausible. This would make the Ampitheatre roughly half the size of the world’s largest: the Colosseum.

The town of Italica dates to 200BC but I’m not sure when the amphitheatre was built. The oldest known in the world is the Pompeii Amphitheatre (70BC), which was preserved by being buried in ash during the destruction of Pompei.

Some of the key features of the Italica Amphitheatre are the underground passages used by participants to move around underground, the Gladiator credo displayed in a preparation area (in Greco-Roman), the place where the lions were kept, and the naumachia in the centre of the bowl, which was filled with water and used to re-enact naval battles.

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