Art and culture
Its construction began under Nero and was completed by Vespasian [69-79 a.C.]; it will be called “Coliseo” for its close similarity to the Amphitheatre in Rome and it could accommodate up to 20.000 spectators [extemal measures: 149×116 metres – Arena measures: 75×42 metres]. The subterranean structures, made by three corridors and a series of cella, are in a perfect state of preservation, together with its skylights structure and the complicated mechanism for the hoisting of the caged wild beasts.
Tempie of Serapis
!t was the “Macellum”, the city market (risen between Ist and Ilnd cent a.C.) annexed to port area. It is generally defined as “Temple of Serapis” because of the found of a statue of the Egyptian god Serapis, happened during the excavation works made in 1750, of (the city was closely bound at that time to Roman Egypt because of its commerce relationships).
For centuries, it has been subjected to sinking and re-surfacing phenomena due to bradyseism. The main entrance was open to the sea, inside the yard there was the “tholos”, closed by an exedra preceded by four columns (three of them are stili intact). The magnificence of the building can be discovered in the marble revetments of the centrai court and of the two larger rooms, of the statues and marble and granite columns.
Inside the park of Villa Avellino there ore the ruins of thermal buildings of the imperial time, such as Piscina Lusciano and Piscina Cardito, and the XVIth century Palace, built by Don Pedro Alvarez de Toledo, viceroy of Naples, after Monte Nuovo eruption.
This grandiose construction (20 m. high and 6 m. wide) is cut through Mount Grillo in order to provide an easier transit to Rome, through via Domitiana (95 a.C.) which was connected to via Appia.
“Kyme” in Greek, “Cumae” in Latin, it is the most ancient colony of Magna Grecia and of the West; founded by Euboici in VIllth century b.C., it has been a flourishing and powerful city (more than Pozzuoli) till the Neapolitan invasion (1207).
Archaeological Park of Cuma
The Acropolis is made up of igneous rocks and retaining walls (Vth cent. b.C.). On the lower terrace there is the so called “Temple of Apollo”, on the upper terrace there is the “Tempie of Jupiter” (later transformed into a Christian basilica). At the entrance of the Acropolis there is the mythic “Sibyl’s Cave”, a monument hollowed out of the tuff bank, with a 131,50m. long, 2,40m. wide and 5 m. high gallery. According to Virgil’s description (Aeneid, VI) it is in this piace that the adobe of the Apollo’s prophetic priestess must be located. The big “Roman Crypt” (38-36 b.C.) connected the port to the forum.
Baia is an enchanting port which takes name from “Bajos”, the companion of Ulysses who died and was buried here. Decanted by Horace too, its hills were a proper site to build magnificent Roman villas and important thermal centres thanks to its hot springs. Owing to bradyseism, the ancient city is now, to a great extent, under the sea.
Park of Baia
It is a grandiose architectonic complex made up of thermal rooms, rooms for relax and sightseeing, it was characterized by terraces and arcades, divided into four
“Temples”: Diano, Mercurio, Sosandra and Venere.
Aragonese Castle and Archaeological Museum
The majestic shape of the Castle dominates Baia and Pozzuoli Gulf. Built in 1490 by king Alfonso Ilnd of Aragona (45.000 mq. and 92 m. high), it was later enlarged. It was a fortress situated in a strategic position, today it is housing un archaeological museum exposing the main works found in the sea of Baia and Rione Terra in Pozzuoli (many of them are still intact).
The ancient “Bauli” of Roman time, numerous maritime villas, among whose ruins there is the “Odeon” improperly named “Agrippina’s grave”, or “Cento Camerelle”, a villa equipped with an exceptionable cisterns system of republican time. Another big rectangular basin, of Augustan time, used as a water reservoir to save “Serino” water, is the so called “Piscina Mirabilis”, a precious water reserve far the Roman fleet in Miseno (the last part of Phlegraean Fields, characterized by the homonymous mountain where rose important imperial villas; its name derives from the legend which tells that “Miseno”, Aeneas’ bugler was buried here). To be visited are Torregaveta, a hill dropping straight to the sea, the small bay called “Maremorto” and Sant’Anna Church (1691).
Monte di Procida
With its extraordinary panorama, it is the most extemal part of phlegraean peninsula. It is a promontory facing lsle, from which is separated by a short stretch of sea. This area, called “Monte di Miseno” till the Middle Age, changed its name after the destruction of Miseno.