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From early prehistoric settlements to medieval fortresses, Italy's archeology is an apparently inexhaustible source of wonder, with treasures spanning several millennia and dozens of cultures. Etruscan, Roman, and Greek towns, cities, and necropolises yield the richest treasure troves, but little known civilizations like the Nuragic people in Sardinia are no less intriguing. Needless to say, Pompeii and Hercolaneum are in a realm of their own, with life frozen (well, burnt, really!) in real time by the sudden eruption of nearby Vesuvius.

Italy Archeology


The Valley of the Temples found here – a cluster of five Doric structures built around 5th century BC, and a UNESCO World Heritage site – is one of the greatest collections of Greek architecture in the world. Hire a qualified guide to explain the history and architecture to be even more impressed by its splendor. 

Tags: arts and culture | editor pick | architecture | history | archeology

Mosaics of Ravenna

The eight mosaic monuments in this quasi-port city on the Adriatic still glitter after 16 centuries. The Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna (their official title) are a UNESCO World Heritage site – a unique collection of mosaics and monuments from the 5th and 6th centuries that draw lovers of antiquity, art, and religion. Note: Not all eight monuments are within walking distance of each other.

Eight locations in and around Ravenna, 011-39-0544-35755 (tourist office),
Tags: arts and culture | editor pick | architecture | history | world heritage site | archeology

Pompeii and Herculaneum

Preserved for centuries under volcanic ash, Pompeii is still being excavated by archeologists. What’s already been unearthed, however, is impressive enough: an entire Roman-era city complete with villas, basilicas, “fast-food” joints, and a brothel! Herculaneum, also buried under the lava of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., is a smaller site, but better preserved than Pompeii.

Porta Marina, Campania, 011-39-081-857-5347,
Tags: editor pick | art | things to do | culture | architecture | history | archeology

Taormina’s Greek Theater

This Greek amphitheater is the second largest in Italy but has the most spectacular setting, surrounded by the natural wonders of sea, sky, and Mt. Etna. As in ancient times, it is the site of concerts and special events during the summer season, but will take your breath away any time of year.

Sicily, 011-39-0942-610-225, for concerts 039-0942-24291
Tags: culture | architecture | history | archeology

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