Roman Ruins Around the World You Don’t Want to Miss Seeing
When it comes to the landmarks of Ancient Rome that you can still see today, the first place that comes to mind is Rome, Italy, which – as the name suggests – is full of Roman architecture and sites. However, you can see roman ruins around the world, and many of them are located along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, making it convenient for cruisers to visit.
From Italy to Israel, you won’t want to miss seeing these five Roman ruins during a Mediterranean cruise.
Pompeii: A Roman City Frozen in Time
While in port in Naples, Italy, you have the perfect opportunity to visit one of the most incredible ancient sites in the world: Pompeii. Located roughly 15 miles from Naples, Pompeii is the location of a once thriving civilization that lived thousands of years ago. The ancient city of Pompeii came to a dramatic and tragic end when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. and covered the entire city in ash so quickly that its buildings and bodies were seemingly frozen in time when discovered in the 18th century.
The incredibly preserved ruins are open to the public today and you can walk through them and easily imagine what it must have been like to live there 2,000 years ago.
Adding to the intrigue is that Pompeii is an archaeological site that is still under study, and new things are still continuing to be unearthed that teach us more about the ancient Romans and how they lived.
See How Wealthy Romans Lived While in Sorrento
Pompeii isn’t the only location of Roman ruins you can visit during a cruise port of call in Naples.
Naples is also a jumping off point to get to the Amalfi Coast, of which the picturesque coastal town of Sorrento is a coveted place to see.
While most people go there to see the pastel-colored homes and buildings overlooking the bright blue Bay of Naples, travelers in the know make time to head away from the town center and go to Punta del Capo, which is the site of what’s left of an ancient Roman villa that is believed to have been the vacation home of a wealthy Roman citizen by the name of Pollio Felice.
This villa is even mentioned by the Roman poets Horace and Status in some of their writings. The ancient ruins of several other roman villas are also located nearby. The villas date back to the 1st through 3rd centuries AD.
Take a Provincial Stroll Through Arles, France
Arles, France is a popular shore excursion to do during a port of call in Marseille along the lovely southern coast of France.
Arles is surrounded by the beautiful Provence countryside, but history lovers will likely be more excited by what’s within the city center than the nature surrounding it. Arles played a prominent part in Ancient Rome history since it served as a provincial capital of the Roman Empire.
Many landmarks and building ruins leftover from this time in history are still on display today for visitors to Arles to see and marvel at. You can view Roman buildings that are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites plus a well-preserved Roman Amphitheater that was built in the 1st century.
Diocletian’s Palace in Split
In the 4th century AD, the Roman Empire was split in two. The man behind that decree was Diocletian, a Roman emperor who ruled the eastern part of the Roman Empire and left the western side to his colleague, Maximian. This move actually stabilized the Roman Empire after a tumultuous era known as the Crisis of the Third Century. After he retired from ruling the Eastern Roman Empire, Diocletian built a palatial residence along the Adriatic coast in Croatia, the remains of which can still be seen today while in port in Split, Croatia.
You can explore Diocletian’s Palace in two parts. The first is the above ground part, which is the thriving heart of the city and consists of cobblestoned walkways and narrow alleys lined with restaurants and shops housed in the old stone buildings. The second part of Diocletian’s Palace you can tour is the underground part, referred to as the basement rooms or the substructure of the palace. The basement was originally built for storage and to elevate the main living quarters of the emperor and as such, it is a mirror image of what the layout of Diocletian’s palatial residence would have been.
Imagine What It Would Have Been Like to Cruise to a Roman Port Town
Roman ruins aren’t only in Europe. You can find Roman ruins around the world, a remarkable one of which is in the Middle East near the Haifa, Israel port of call. That site is Caesarea National Park.
Caesarea is an ancient port city located on the Mediterranean Sea about 26 miles from Haifa and makes for an intriguing and historical shore excursion while in port. The name alone conjures Roman history thoughts of Julius Caesar, the former emperor of Rome, and Caesarea is indeed named after him. Caesar gifted the land to King Herod, who played a prominent role in making the port city an architectural and engineering wonder.
Today you can walk through the ruins of the ancient port city and see what’s left of the streets and buildings as well as visit the restored port and get a sense of what it was like in ancient Roman times.
Caesarea’s Roman Amphitheater has also been beautifully restored and has stunning views of the sea; it even plays host to concerts in the summer.
In addition, a museum is located on site that provides a multimedia experience to teach you more about the history of Caesarea. That’s not the only museum you can see while in Caesarea; scuba divers can also explore the submerged ruins of Caesarea by diving below the surface of the Mediterranean and exploring the world’s first underwater museum.
Cruise to These Roman Ruins Around the World
We can help you get beyond Rome and sail to these Roman ruins around the world with our Europe cruise and Mediterranean cruise itineraries that have a wide array of ports of call, including the five listed above. Soon you’ll be seeing Roman ruins that most people don’t even realize exist and marveling at all of the ancient history in your midst.