Italica, Spain


Mosaic of the Birds


Mosaic of Neptune


Mosaic of the birds

Founded in 206BC to settle wounded Roman soldiers, the settlement of Italica now lies 9Km from Seville in Spain. Italica’s Roman population of the time was an astonishing 8000, but now all that remains are the ruins which have been excavated since the late 18th Century. Most of the mosaics have been removed to museums, but some notable ones remain, and the viewpoints give a good idea of the layout and scale of the place. The amphitheatre which could seat 25 000, is impressive and it’s scale gives an indication of Italica’s importance. Emperor Trajan was born here, and he is generally thought to be a positive leader. His relatively untarnished reputation has lasted nearly 200 years! Perhaps his demeanour was inspired by this vibrant Roman town. No matter, I am no history scholar but this is a place well worth a visit. And for EU citizens it’s free! Non-EU it’s Euro1.50 so not too bad. ┬áParking is free, and for public transport, buses run from Seville from Plaza de Armas (though don’t quote me on that since we drove!)




Amphitheatre from Gladiatorial entrance


Amphitheatre at Italica


Italica Mosaics


Italica, Spain


Mosaics, Italica


Statue of Trajan, italica




Carmona: a Parador in Three Images

Carmona is charming, ethereal, haunted. Charming in its the sleepy-natured way the town sits atop a ridge overlooking the Andalucian Plain, like a very contented cat. Ethereal in its timeless, other-worldy way: and is apparently the most haunted place in Spain!

This Parador is a particular favourite. Offering a cool, calm respite for guests away from the often blistering heat of the area. The beautiful pool, welcoming restaurant, bar and public areas make Carmona a perfect base for exploring Seville (40 minutes by bus from the town plaza) and Cordoba (an hour’s easy drive). A two or three day stay is ideal, which gives time to explore the area and Carmona itself: filled with Moorish, Roman and later Christian buildings, churches and antiquities.

Carmona Balcony

Parador de Carmona

Parador de Carmona