An oasis of calm and beauty in the core of the Phlegraean Fields a few minutes away from Naples
Where can you feel the calm, the sea breeze, enjoy an amazing view, great food and nature, all of this a few minutes away from Naples? The answer is Pozzuoli, the city where Sophia Loren was born, found in the Phlegraean Fields, a land full of myth! Here history and legend blend in an open- air archaeological museum among the largest and most relevant in Italy. Founded by the Greeks, Pozzuoli is found in front of the isles of Ischia and Procida but its current name, given by the Romans ,“Puteolis” used to refer to its sulphur springs. Considered to be one of the most important commercial hubs for the Roman Empire, thanks to the trades made in the Mediterranean, its most suggestive monument is the Temple of Serapis which owes its name to the goddess protector of the ancient public commerce and it’s well visible from the harbour. Its large columns are a proof of the bradyseism phenomenon in the area which has been a part of the city’s recent history and consists in a continuous rising up and lowering of the sea level. Running along the Temple, you will enter the harbour running across cafes and cute little restaurants enjoying a nice walk, up to Pozzuoli’s seafront, a promenade made for leisure time, coffee and typical seafood. The Rione Terra district is another unmissable stop, being the first residential area brought back to its splendor and offering a charming itinerary among artisan shops, wheat warehouses and the places where bread was made and baked.
How to get there
You can either reach Pozzuoli by car in 20 minutes from the city center on the tangenziale highway, the arterial road that crosses the city, or by Metro on the Linea 2 from the Napoli Garibaldi Station.
The Saint’s Miracle
Inside the Shrine Church of San Gennaro the stone where the city’s patron Saint was beheaded is preserved. On the day of his celebration, when the Saint’s blood liquefies into the ampoules kept in the Cathedral of Naples, the solified traces of blood on this stone seem to gain a brighter color. As if the miracle was happening in Pozzuoli as well.
The Flavian Amphitheater in Pozzuoli is the third largest one in Italy, after the Colosseum and the one found in Capua. It was built as a will of Nero and the gladiators fights were held here, gathering over 40.000 spectators during the performances. Full-price ticket: 4 €; “CircuitoFlegreo” ticket is 8 € and is valid through 2 days and can be used to access 4 different sites: Baia Castle, Baia Thermal Baths, the Archaeological Park of Cuma and the Flavian Amphitheater in Pozzuoli. Opening days: Monday, Wednesday to Sunday. Closed on Tuesdays. Definitely a must see!