El Jem is a piece of Tunisian history and one of the important towns in North Africa, originally a Roman town called Thysdrus.
What makes this town so spectacular has to be the enormous amphitheater. While in ruins, you can still make out the grandeur of this 3AD Roman amphitheater which is now a World Heritage Site.
Climb to the top of the amphitheater where you can soak up the picturesque views of this small town which was once a market hub and stop over for those traveling through the Sahara Desert. Below the theatre is where you find the old holding cages where animals and fighters would wait for their turn in front of the thousands of spectators.
As you walk towards the entrance to the amphitheater you can browse the selection of shops selling souvenirs and a wealth of items, making it an experience to remember.
The great thing about El Jem is that you can visit the entire town on foot, walk the ancient roads and gaze at the magnificent ancient Roman villas that stand around the amphitheater and have been so well preserved over the years. The sandy backdrop makes this a beautiful town filled with history and culture.
Walking through the town is definitely the best way to see all the sights and really soak up the history of the bustling market town that once stood here all those years ago.
Don’t leave without stopping at the El Jem Museum which is located in a Roman villa on the outskirts of the town. This well preserved villa is now home to a selection of mosaics and sculptures along with an excavation site where you can see the original road that ran next to these ancient villas. There is also a beautiful courtyard in the museum oozing history and charm.