Questo sito utilizza cookie, inclusi cookie di terze parti. Alcuni cookie ci aiutano a migliorare la navigazione nel sito, altri sono finalizzati a inviare messaggi pubblicitari mirati. Continuando la navigazione nel sito acconsenti al loro impiego in conformità alla nostra Cookie Policy, che ti invitiamo pertanto a consultare. Accedendo alla nostra Cookie Policy, inoltre, potrai negare il consenso all'installazione dei cookie

Elle Decor Italia

Italy’s Top 10 archeological sites any architect should know

Urban landmarks, commemorative monuments, ancient temples… What can archeology teach us today?

Getty Images

What are Italy’s must-see archeological sites any architect should pay a visit to? Oh well, there is plenty of them, maybe even too much. No wonder that the Grand Tour – the exploration of our country’s greatest treasures and their influence on the past, present and the future – was a mandatory rite of passage for all respectful gentlemen in the 18th century. Where, if not in Italy, travellers could enjoy the magnificence of art? Many illustrious thinkers, such as Goethe and Stendhal, has left their own testimony about it, and yet we are all more drawn to modernity nowadays, the very thing that throws us on a plain and makes us look high up to some skyscraper. But since we need a quick review lesson every now and then, are you ready for a little eye candy gently offered by our native land?

Visiting Rome? If so, you will be definitely spoiled for choice, but if time is short just head over to Fori Imperiali. Set right in the heart of the Imperial Capital, you will have the chance to admire a century and a half-long celebration of a lost civilisation, whilst zig-zagging through the Temple of Venus and the Temple of Mars. The monumental landmarks and plazas built by Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nerva and Trajan still steal the stage by offering a breath-taking spectacle… at a stone’s throw away from the Colosseum.

Photo: Getty Images

Tracing back to the VII century B.C., Metapontum was among Ancient Greece’s major hubs. The legend reports that is was founded by Greek Nestor after the Trojan War, and was home to prestigious figures of the likes of Pythagoras and Hannibal as centuries went by. The city’s central role is enhanced by the Doric-style temples dedicated to Hera and Apollo, that sit side by side with the Ionic Temple of Aphrodite. Between the agora and the perimeter of the east wall, the Roman Castrum unfolds into a long parade of columns. Discover this land imbued with history and battles, including the well-known attack carried on by Spartacus’ rebellious men. 

Photo: Getty Images

The Valle dei Templi, located nearby Agrigento, is a stunning ancient architectural complex dating to the V century B.C. One of Ancient Greece’s crown jewels, it features 10 constructions among which the Temple of Concordia – also open for night visits – cheekily stands out. 

Photo: Getty Images

The Roman Theatre is Fiesole’s key strength: located at the rear of the main square, the building is bordered by Etruscan walls and sits in the middle of the sacred site. Christened the “Dens of the Fairies” back in the Middle Age, the theatre still boasts a flawless acoustic, to the point that if dropping a coin on stage, its jingling could be perfectly heard from all terraces. Both the Roman thermal baths and Longobard necropolis testify multiple historical and cultural layers.

Photo: Getty Images

Paestum is topping the chart of Italian archeological must-see’s. Stretching over a 120 hectars area, it features greatly preserved border walls and a set of Greek temples originally built in the V and VI century B.C. The Archeotreno is quite a nice cherry on top, meaning a vintage train which offers an archeological and cultural tour across Naples, Pompeii, Paestum and Ascea. 

Photo: Getty Images

Since we just mentioned it, here’s the shimmering beauty of Pompeii whose unlucky biography is sadly known in any corner of the world. Indeed, preceded by a powerful earthquake in 62 AD, the city was tragically blown away by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD leaving local inhabitants utterly unprepared, as the voice of Pliny the Younger recounts. Highlights include several elegant residences and elaborate villas, the public forum, the amphitheatre and numerous temples. Contemporary architects shall appreciate the site’s incredibly perfect state of preservation, especially when it comes to public venues showing off ancient Roman’s building expertise.

The Verona Arena deserves a place of honour: the best preserved outdoor Roman Amphitheatre in the whole world, it is currently in use and internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances held here after almost 2,000 years from its erection. A virtuous example of Italy’s keen attention to its historical heritage, as witnessed by the generous number of recovering interventions which are being implemented since the 17th century.

Photo: Getty Images

The most daring of you should certainly pay a visit to the underwater archeological park of Baiae for the perfect Jules Verne-like experience. Why? Because the whole site is set almost 7 metres below sea level, submerged by blue water and providing a unique scenery. Just roam the sea depths and bump into a majestic villa enriched with porches and pavilions now home to a flourishing marine life. 

if you happen to be in Sardinia, go straight to the Temple of Antas, not far from Cagliari, whose abundant iron and lead deposits once attracted both the Carthaginians and later the Romans. Their temples are still towering the local landscape: the remains of the Carthaginian one stand on the ruins of a nuraghe, whilst the Roman temple was built over a sacred limestone outcrop and is dedicated to the god Sid Addir, a later incarnation of the main male divinity of the Nuragic civilisation.

Lastly, if you are fond of pensive walks, a 6 km-long Roman aqueduct is still alive and kicking in Pont d’Ael, Aosta Valley. First built in the year 3 B.C., it also features a bridge measuring 56 metres in height and more than 50 metres in length, where visitors are permitted to pass on the above walkway, enter in the covered passage from the left bank and exit from the opposite one. 

Le 12 mappe da regalare ai vostri amici architetti
 I 15 libri di architettura che ogni architetto dovrebbe avere (o regalare)
→ Gli oggetti quotidiani più belli per i regali di Natale

by Stefano Annovazzi Lodi / 16 November 2017


Architecture collection


Secret Beirut

Elegant and resilient, the Lebanese capital in a connoisseur tour



Steven Holl rediscovers Scarpa

Thanks to the American architect, Fondazione Masieri reopens



Detroit reloaded

Deep into the ex Motor City and its creative renaissance



Room by the lake

1940’s hydro electric station turns into luxury hotel suspended on water

hotel di design


A hotel for real bohemians

Hotel Pilar, Leopold de Waelplaats, Antwerp: a boho-style must



Justice architecture

Renzo Piano's court in Paris is open and transparent, just like justice

public buildings


Hong Kong’s new lounge

Those brand-new, stylish terraces overlooking Hong Kong Harbor…



Into the wild

An explorer’s movable shelter tested in Iceland frosty weather



Urban tundra

Russia grooms itself in sight of 2018 World FIFA World Cup


Hearst Magazines Italia


Pubblicità | Link utili | Cookies policy | privacy policy siti web