We got a chance to visit Italica, the first Roman city built outside of Italy. It was founded in 206 BC by Publius Cornelius Scipio during the Second Carthaginian War. It is about a 30 minute drive outside of Seville.
Eventually Italica became a resort city of sorts where the Roman upper crust maintained estates. What constitutes the upper crust has to be taken with a grain of salt though. The water was so foul that they mostly drank wine. All in all not a terrible idea, come to think of it.
For entertainment, the Romans built (actually their slaves built) an arena, similar to, but smaller in scale than Coliseum in Rome. The “entertainment” was similar though. Gladiators fought each other in the Arena. They also had fights between gladiators and bulls. (Lions were reserved for the Coliseum in Rome). Unlike modern times, the bulls tended to win these contests. However, the Romans were thoughtful enough to carve out a section of the arena where gladiators could pray before a fight.
Below are some photos taken during our guided tour of Italica, including ones taken in the Arena. One bit of Trivia about Italica—large sections of “Game of Thrones” were filmed there.