Top Ancient Cities to Visit in Italy

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As one of the richest, oldest, and most exciting countries in the world, Italy is known for more than live entertainment, distinct Mediterranean culture, and art. If you consider yourself a history buff, this is the perfect destination for exploring cities with immense ancient backgrounds and stunning history. However, if you do not know where to start your legendary holiday, here are our suggestions of top primeval cities in Italy! 

Herculaneum, Campania

A city with an interesting name and history, Herculaneum was buried under volcanic ash due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. It is located in the modern-day commune of Ercolano, Campania, and is easily reachable by train!

Here you can explore the ruins and excavations of the city, with guided tours or individual trips. Herculaneum is considered a sibling location to Pompeii, an ancient city also destroyed by Mount Vesuvius. However, Herculaneum was the first to suffer, even while keeping more of the area intact, compared to Pompeii. Definitely worth a visit! 

Rome, Lazio

Naturally, the capital city of Italy makes the list. Settled in the region of Lazio, Rome serves as the most important Italian destination due to being the center of culture, history, and entertainment. 

Its history spans 28 centuries, and there are numerous stunning sites that you can visit. Try the Colosseum or the Roman Forum to learn about what age has done to the city and how many highly significant events took place in these beautiful locations. But these are just the most important ones. Proof of Rome’s age is at every corner, the surroundings sinking in the masterpieces left by our ancestors, in what is now considered the most important civilization. 

Make sure to use the railway to get around Italy, as the system is very well developed! For example, check out the Rome to Naples train

roman

Florence, Tuscany

Built on the Etruscan settlement and the later ancient Roman colony of Florentia, Florence earned the right to be called an ancient city with its development in the early ages. It was initially built as a military colony for veteran soldiers by Julius Ceasar in 1 BCE, and while it has overcome many dramatic changes, you can still see a side to the old Florentia. 

While nowadays, tourists are primarily attracted to this destination because of its importance as the epicenter for Renaissance, make sure to dig deeper (pun intended!) to find the more ancient part of this beautiful city. 

Keep in mind that the city is easily reachable, so you can go ahead and jump on the Rome to Florence train if you find yourself leaving the capital! 

florance

Verona, Veneto

While most people associate Verona with the famous play Romeo and Juliet by W. Shakespear, the city is more than the lovely balcony and romantic setting. 

Located on the Adige River, Verona is filled with ancient ruins and landmarks, not just the luxurious lifestyle you would expect from a place of this richness. Visit the Arena di Verona built in the 1st century, which is still used to this day. If you happen to catch an opera show, you might feel transported back hundreds of years! 

You can explore and enjoy numerous ancient sites and trails left by the Gothic occupation in 489!

verona

Egnazia, Puglia

Maybe a little less-known, but no less remarkable, the city of Egnazia is located on the Eastern coast of Italy and was established in the Bronze Age. However, it fell under Greek rule up until the Romans retrieved it in the 8th century. Whatever their history might be, it left immense footprints in the city’s history, which now you can witness for yourself. 

Italians like to suggest simply roaming around for a few days without a concrete plan in mind. That way, you will unexpectedly stumble upon all these impressive monuments, and your experience will be more genuine.

Egnazia is a perfect destination if your itinerary fails to include Rome or if you are craving more of the same. It is said that this city is the closest it can get to Ancient Rome, and most of its marvelous artifacts are still intact, so you will not have to walk through ruins! 

Here you go! We hope you have a better idea of what to expect and how to plan your trip. Remember to give yourself time and not skim through the sites – the only way you will feel authenticity is if you are patient and observant. Now, off you go on the best Italian holiday! 

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