Pozzuoli Travel Guide

  • Wonderful colours....
    Wonderful colours....
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    Random Roman remains
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Pozzuoli Things to Do

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    'Temple' of Serapis 1 more image

    by leics Written Oct 22, 2011

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    Actually, it's fairly easy to find. If you arrive on the Metro, just turn right, turn right again when you reach the main road (Via Solfatar) and keep walking downhill. You will eventually come to the lower part of the town and the' temple' is pretty obvious.

    If you arrive on the Cumana it's even easier to find; just walk north along Via Pergolesi.

    The site is not really a temple at all, although its original excavators thought that the sculpture of the god Serapis meant it was., It was actually a covered macellum, a market place, and the circular structure in the centre was for selling fish. Nor nearly as romantic as a temple site!

    As the whole area is continually (albeit slowly) rising and falling as a result of bradyseism, the site was underwater for several centuries (hence the mollusc-created holes in the three large pillars) and it still prone to flooding.

    It's still a pretty impressive site though, and you can get good views from the overpass part of Via Pergolesi. The site opens erratically, so you might be able to get a close look if you are lucky (I wasn't).

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    Amphitheatre exterior 4 more images

    by leics Written Oct 22, 2011

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    I wish I'd been able to visit the amphitheatre, but it is closed on Tuesdays.

    It is a huge and magnificent structure, seating up to 20 000 people and once the third largest in all Italy.

    Although you cannot visit the seating area itself you can visit the underground chambers which housed the gladiators pre-performance, and the wild beats they killed (or which killed them). There are some lovely bits of carved masonry around the exterior, visible from the road; they come from the various buildings, temples and shrines which once stood in the vicinity of the amphitheatre.

    Open every day except Tuesday, and 25th December, 1st January and 1st May from 0830 until one hour before dusk. Tickets cost 4 euro according to

    http://www.campaniabeniculturali.it/luoghi-della-cultura/anfiteatro-flavio?searchterm=anfiteatro+flavio

    but be prepared for an increase. Italian official websites are not always kept up-to-date.

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    Solfatara entrance 4 more images

    by leics Updated Oct 22, 2011

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    A wonderful experience if, like me, you have no experience of a volcanic landscape.

    The Solfatara is part of the Campi Flegrei, the whole volcanic landscape of this little promontory on the Bay of Naples. Although supposedly inactive it nevertheless has many fumaroles, through which superheated gases are belched..and a pool of gently bubbling mud in its centre.

    The Romans thought it was the gates of Hell, but still used it for its health-giving spa properties. There was a spa here right up to the 1800s: you enter through what remains of its landscaped gardens.

    As well as the main fumaroles you can see the well which was used from Medieval times as a source of mineral water (good for curing sterility and ulcers, apparently), evidence of past mining for alum and lime and the Stufe Antiche, brick-built boxes dating from the 1800s which provide a sort of natural sauna.

    O..and apparently the fumes from the Solfatara are a natural Viagra. At least, that's what the local male population likes to believe, as evidenced by a large noticeboard showing a newspaper report of a scientific study which suggested that local fertility is very high. :-)

    It's well worth visiting the Solfatara and, I think, may offer a more exciting 'volcanic experience' than Vesuvius itself...it's too quiet, at the moment and too busy with visitors. The Solfatara was more or less empty when I visited in mid-October, although the campsite inside the crater may well be busy in season (with people who are happy to live with the smell of rotten eggs, presumably?).

    Entrance in October 2011 as 6 euro..and worth every cent, imo. There's a small bar/restaurant and toilets on site.

    Opern every day from around 0830 until one hour before dusk.

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Pozzuoli Transportation

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    Pozzuoli Metro station

    by leics Written Oct 22, 2011

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    Although it's a Metro, the train to Pozzuoli mostly travels overground. Pozzuoli is at the end of line 2, operated by Trenitalia, so it is a very easy journey to make.

    You can also catch the Cumana train from Montesanto stationm, in Naples. But if you are coming from anywhere south of the city (e.g. Sorrento) then it is much easier to take Metro 2 from Napoli Garibaldi station, which is served by the Circumvesuviana trains. Metro 2 is well-signed once you exit the Circumvesuviana part of Napoli Garibaldi, and electronic signage tells you when the trains are due and where they are going.

    Metro 2 runs every 10-15 minutes or so and the journey to Pozzuoli takes about 20 minutes. The Metro station is more convenient for visiting the Solfatara, the Cumana station is further down the hill (nearer the sea) and more convenient for visiting the town itself.

    A Unico Campania day or three-day ticket covers the Metro and the Cumana services, as well as the Circumvesuviana and all buses.

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Pozzuoli Off The Beaten Path

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    Temple of Neptune 1 more image

    by leics Updated Oct 22, 2011

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    This rather impressive, although pretty much ruined, structure is tucked away in the upper part of Pozzuoli. Its size, along with the huge amphitheatre and the fact that much of excavated the Roman town lies some distance away, gives clear indication of just what a wealthy and busy place this once was.

    You'll find the temple if you follow the road around the amphitheatre and just keep walking for a couple of minutes. It's on the left of Corso Nicola Terracciano. Also look for more ruins in the grounds of modern buildings opposite. It's quite possible that they were once part of the same huge temple complex.

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