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Pozzuoli: journey through the history of the Mediterranean

Located on the western coast of the Gulf of Naples, Pozzuoli is a fascinating city that has its roots in the ancient history of the Mediterranean. With its Roman vestiges, volcanic remains and a lively port atmosphere, Pozzuoli offers visitors a fascinating combination of history, culture and natural beauty. In this article, we will guide you to discover this little-known gem and tell you why Pozzuoli deserves to be included in your list of places to visit.

A glorious past

Pozzuoli has a rich and fascinating past dating back to Roman times. It was an important commercial port and cultural center in ancient times, so much so that it was often described as “Little Rome”. The ancient monuments and Roman ruins still present in the city today testify to the grandeur of that period. Also the Flavian Amphitheater, one of the largest in ancient Rome, is a must-see attraction, as is the Temple of Serapis, a Roman building with white marble columns that dates back to the 2nd century.

The Port of Pozzuoli

The port of Pozzuoli is still one of the main connecting routes between Naples and the Gulf islands. Walking along the pier and watching the ferries ply the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean will make you feel like an integral part of the city’s maritime life. Furthermore, the port is surrounded by a lively promenade, full of restaurants, bars and shops, where you can enjoy a pleasant evening stroll.

Local gastronomy and cuisine

You cannot visit Pozzuoli without tasting its traditional cuisine. The city is famous for its fresh seafood and seafood specialties such as “Brodetto Pozzuolano”, a delicious fish soup. Furthermore, you can taste the famous “Sfogliatella Riccia”, a typical Neapolitan pastry that will leave you speechless.

What to see in Pozzuoli?

Solfatara Volcano

Pozzuoli is located on an active volcanic territory and the presence of the Solfatara Volcano is one of its most unique characteristics. This volcanic crater offers an extraordinary experience, allowing visitors to walk among fumaroles, hot springs and boiling mud. The surreal atmosphere of Solfatara will make you feel as if you have entered a completely different world.

Terra district

Rione Terra is the historic heart of Pozzuoli. This ancient fortified village dates back to the 16th century and is located on a promontory which offers spectacular views of the gulf. Walking through its narrow cobbled streets will make you feel like you’re stepping back in time. You will be able to admire the historic churches, the picturesque squares and the ancient walls that surround the neighborhood.

Flavian Amphitheatre

The Flavian Amphitheatre, also known as the Pozzuoli Amphitheatre, is one of the largest Roman amphitheaters in Italy. Built in the 1st century AD, it could accommodate up to 20,000 spectators. Today it is possible to visit this extraordinary archaeological site, admire its well-preserved structure and imagine the epic gladiatorial battles that once took place there.

Anfiteatro Flavio di Pozzuoli

Temple of Serapis

The Temple of Serapis takes its name from a fascinating discovery: a statue of the Egyptian god Serapis, discovered on site. However, contrary to what the name might suggest, it is not a temple dedicated to this deity, but rather a “macellum”, a public food market built by the ancient Romans.

Over time, the Temple of Serapis has become a symbol and indicator of Phlegraean bradyseism. Since the end of the 4th century AD, its marble columns have been used as a tool for measuring sea level changes. When the sea retreats, the marble columns bring with them small holes “made” by molluscs, a signature of the variation in the water level over the centuries. The proximity to the sea also played a key role in preserving the temple, as long periods of submersion contributed to its excellent state of preservation.

In addition to being a destination on the romantic Grand Tour, the Temple of Serapis offers a fascinating dialogue between the past and present, inviting visitors to explore Roman history and understand the geological dynamics that shaped this fascinating coastal region.

Archaeological Museum of the Phlegraean Fields

The Archaeological Museum of the Phlegraean Fields is a museum that houses a vast collection of archaeological finds from the Phlegraean Fields region, including Pozzuoli. Here it is possible to admire sculptures, mosaics, everyday objects and other finds that tell the history and culture of the area.

Pozzuoli is a fascinating destination that offers a perfect mix of ancient history, natural beauty and port atmosphere. With its Roman archaeological sites, the Solfatara Volcano, the picturesque Rione Terra and its lively port, the city captures the imagination of visitors. If you want to explore an ancient Roman city with a vibrant Mediterranean soul, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Pozzuoli.