"Utica: Carthage's rival" Top 5 Page for this destination Tunisia Off The Beaten Path Tip by Elisabcn

Tunisia Off The Beaten Path: 144 reviews and 270 photos

by Elisabcn

On the way to Bizerte the remains of Utica worth a visit. Utica was a Punic city founded by the year 1100 BCE, which means 300 years before Carthage. Utica and Carthage were neighbors and also competitors: they always tried to buy larger and more beautiful buildings than the rival?s. Utica had the advantage that it was at the outlet of Medjerda River, which was at that time the only river in Tunisia that carried water during all the year so it had a very busy port. During the Third Punic War Utica helped the Romans against Carthage permitting them to have a safe port not far from Carthage. Romans did not forget Utica?s help and when they destroyed Carthage they converted Utica in the capital of the Roman province of Africa. Utica had a prosperous life until the second century when the wheat production in the mountains silt up Medjerda River so its port became useless and Romans had to move all the functions to Carthage.
Today you can visit a small part of ancient Utica, the most important part of the city is still below ground, but there is no money to do the excavations. There is not a lot from the Punic period (except the necropolis) and three Roman villas are the main attraction. You can admire some in situ mosaics as well even if the best ones are in Bardo Museum. One hour should be enough to visit the site well and take some pictures. The entrance ticket includes the visit of the museum too.

Directions: North of Tunisia

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2009
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