Italy’s under-the-radar ancient ruins and why you must see them

Have you always wanted to channel your inner Indiana Jones?

Cosmos believe some of the most magnificent ruins of our time are closer to home than you might think. With a host of under-the-radar ancient wonders to choose from, you can walk in the lesser known footsteps of bygone cultures on an adventure to nearby Italy. Having spent nearly a century researching and travelling the country’s greatest relics, the escorted holiday specialists have rounded up three destinations you cannot miss in 2018: Lucca, with its fully preserved Renaissance walls that hug the city, Sicily’s surprisingly preserved Valley of the Temples and the island town of Gallipoli with its olive presses from bygone times buried deep into the town’s rock face.

Knowing that all the logistics of trip planning are taken care of, and with the support of a dedicated Cosmos Tour Director, you can truly discover more from Italy. It’s Italy, but not as you know it. With a tour to match a wide range of different travel tastes and budgets, you can find plenty more holiday options on Cosmos’ website including tours with no single supplement (subject to availability) which are perfect for solo travellers.

The Valley of the Temples

Agrigento is home to the Valley of the Temples, dating back to the 6th century BC on the southern coast of Sicily. The valley is home to nine beautifully preserved Greek temples that represent a true golden age where the settlement was one of the richest and most influential in the Mediterranean.   

8-day tour from £1,227 per person. Selected departures in September 2018.  FIND OUT MORE <<<  

The Walls of Lucca

The Walls of Lucca

Lucca’s historic walls were built between the mid 17th and early 19th century. The walls hugging the Tuscan city today are the fourth version, with the first wall built as a fortress for the timeless city by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. Lucca itself is a beautiful showcase of different architectural styles throughout the ages and layers upon layers of history, traditions and culture. When wandering the quaint streets of the city, you can notice the rectangular grid of the centre which is the same layout as the Roman street plan. Indulge in an espresso mid-afternoon in the main square, the Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro, home of the Roman amphitheatre, and watch the city bustle with life in quite the same way as it has for centuries.

6-day tour from £1,412 per person. Departures in May through to September 2018. FIND OUT MORE <<< 

Frantoio Ipogeo, Gallipoli


Frantoio Ipogeo is an underground olive press buried in the tufa rock in the ancient Greek city of Gallipoli built on an island in the Ionian Sea. There are actually 35 olive presses in the rock beneath the town and the oil was feverishly made between the 16th and 19th century to light up the growing city’s oil lamps. Gallipoli which means ‘beautiful city’, with its turbulent past, remains resilient and with winding streets, open piazzas and quaint surroundings intact as well as olive oil abound, it is a destination not to be missed.

8-day tour from £1,143 per person. Departures in May through to October 2018. FIND OUT MORE <<<


Did you know Silversurfers members receive a 5% discount when they book direct with Cosmos? For more information, visit or call 0800 223 0676. Quote ‘silversurfers’ in the promo code box in the online checkout or when booking through one of our Travel Specialists.


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9th May 2018
Thanks for voting!
Looks like very interesting holdiays. Must speak to my better half about booking one.

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