11 Unexpected Places to See Roman Ruins
Collected by Danielle Walsh , AFAR Contributor
Roman ruins—outside of Rome—that have all of the beauty and history and less of the crowds.
Plaza Margarita Xirgu, s/n, 06800 Mérida, Badajoz, Spain
Merida is an instantly likable city and easily reached from Madrid on a day trip. Life is slower in Extremadura; upon our stepping out of the car, palm trees were gently swaying in the breeze, and the pace of life on the streets felt just right—...
Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
A city as ancient as Istanbul has many layers of history, and you’ll have to go below the surface to see the Basilica Cistern, the largest of the underground cisterns. Built in the sixth century for the Byzantine emperor Justinian, the...
Flavijevska ul., 52100, Pula, Croatia
The sixth-largest Roman amphitheater still standing today, the Pula Arena is Croatia’s most magnificent classical monument—and reason enough to check out Pula, Istria’s main city. Built in the 1st century C.E. during the rule of Emperor Vespasian,...
Caesarea, the city and harbor that Herod built, is now preserved as a national park. A walk along its pathways allows visitors to experience the city’s role as part of ancient Rome and its days during the Crusades in the Byzantine era. Check out a...
20 Rue Lacurie, 17100 Saintes, France
It's not so easy to locate this huge, ruined Roman amphitheater in Saintes, France. But it's well worth the effort. You can climb all around it and even walk out into the middle of it. No crowds and no fake gladiators to spoil the mood! There's...
1 Rond-Point des Arènes, 13200 Arles, France
Long associated with Van Gogh, who produced hundreds of paintings there, the UNESCO World Heritage City of Arles on the Rhône River in Provence also has some of the finest Roman ruins in France. The well-preserved amphitheater is still utilized...