When it comes to exploring ancient ruins, a trip to Greece and Italy is a must. These two countries boast some of the most well-preserved and awe-inspiring historical sites in the world.
Greece, known as the cradle of Western civilization, is home to some of the most famous ancient ruins such as the Acropolis in Athens, where the Parthenon stands tall. The Parthenon, originally built in the 5th century BCE, served as a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The temple is built entirely of marble and boasts exquisite carvings and sculptures. A tour of the Acropolis will give you an insight into the history of Athens, from its rise to its golden age and finally, to its fall.
The ancient city of Olympia, located in the western part of the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, is another site worth visiting. Olympia was the birthplace of the Olympic Games, and the ruins of the Olympic stadium, where the first Olympic games were held, are still visible today. Visitors can also see the gymnasium, the workshop of Pheidias, the Temple of Zeus, and the altar of Pelops, among other fascinating structures.
In Italy, the Colosseum in Rome is undoubtedly one of the most famous and impressive ancient ruins in the world. Built around 70-80 CE, the Colosseum was an amphitheater where gladiatorial games and other events took place. The structure can accommodate an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators, and guided tours will take you deep into the history of the Roman Empire and the games that were held there.
The ancient ruins of Pompeii are another must-visit site in Italy. Located near Naples, Pompeii was destroyed in 79 CE when Mount Vesuvius erupted. The city was buried under a blanket of ash and pumice, and it wasn’t until the 18th century that the ruins were rediscovered. Today, visitors can walk through the streets of Pompeii, seeing buildings that once housed wealthy Roman families, public baths, and even a brothel.
The Pantheon in Rome, built by Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century, is another impressive piece of ancient architecture. The structure, originally a temple to all the gods, stands out for its impressive dome and intricate design. The Vatican Museums and the famous Sistine Chapel also feature many ancient ruins and artworks from the Roman and Renaissance periods.
Exploring ancient ruins in Greece and Italy is an unforgettable experience. These sites are full of history and have played a significant role in shaping the world as we know it. Walking in the footsteps of the people who lived in these ancient cities and seeing the structures they built are incredible experiences that cannot be replicated anywhere else. Make sure to include these sites in your itinerary the next time you visit these two incredible countries.