It was founded in 530
B.C. by political exiles from Samos
who gave the city the auspicious name of "Dicaerarchia"
which means "just government".
Astroni: The name comes from the Latin sturnis, because of the abundance of birds, or from strioni (sorcerers). It is a beautiful and undamaged crater with a luxuriant vegetation made of ilexes, chestnut trees, oaks, elms and poplars.
The Solfatara volcano, whose
elliptic crater has a major axis of 770 m. and a minor one of 580
m., was formed 4000 years ago and is the only one in the
Phlegrean Fields which still exhibits an impressive fumarolic activity.
Amphitheatre: Begun under Nero
and completed by Vespasian (69-79 A.D.)
this amphitheatre is the third largest in Italy. The main axis
measures 149 meters and the transverse one 116 meters.
It could accommodate up to 20.000 spectators. The subterranean
structures are in a perfect state of preservation and nowhere else is
it possible to get so clear an idea of the complicated mechanism
required for the hosting of the caged wild beasts up to the arena.
- "Temple of Serapis":
During the excavations, which were begun in 1750, a statue of
the Egyptian god Serapis was found and therefore the edifice was
mistakenly held to be a temple. It is, however, nothing else but the
"macellum" or the city market annexed to the port
area (I-II c. A.D.).
Terra: This quarter,
rising steeply above the sea, was the oldest nucleus of the Greek
city, the acropolis, the citadel, the "castrum" and
the religious center. It preserves considerable traces of the street
network of the 194 B.C., when a Roman colony was established in
Avernus: Few places in the
Phlegraean Fields evoke Homer, Virgil
and the cult of the otherworld more than lake Avernus, believed by the
ancients to be the entrance to Hades (the Underworld).
Avernus "Temple of Apollo":
On the eastern shore of Lake Avernus you
can admire the imposant thermal hall, known as the "Temple
of Apollo", which dates from the reign of Hadrian
(2nd century A.D.).
Temple of Augustus : Brought to light after the burning of the cathedral in 1964, which revealed beautiful corinthian columns, the so-called Temple of Augustus was the city's "Capitolium" during the republican age. By will of Lucius Calpurnius, a rich Puteolan merchant, it was rebuilt by the architect Lucius Cocceius Auctus during the age of Augustus: it was converted into a Christian church between the 5th and the 6th century A.D. and then into a cathedral. It was remodeled in the Baroque style during the episcopate of Martino de Leon y Cardenas (1631-1650). It's now under restoration.
Temple of Neptune : The constructions of this monument dates back the reign of Hadrian (2nd century A.D.). It is a grandiose archeological complex and may be included amongst the most imposing thermal establishments of ancient Puteoli.
Monte Nuovo : It's the youngest mountain in Europe and was formed after a volcanic eruption on 29 September 1538. This eruption, preceded by numerous earthquakes, swallowed up the village of Tripergole on the east shore of Lake Lucrino and caused the depopulation of Pozzuoli.
Submerged remains of Portus Julius : In 37 B.C., during the civil war between Octavian and Sextus Pompeius, M. Vipsanius Agrippa, Octavian's strategist, ordered the construction of a navigable canal
connecting Lake Avernus, Lake Lucrino and the sea and created a grandiose naval base (Portus Julius), which was used as a dockyard for the fleet of Misenum. Owing to the descending phase of bradyseism Portus Julius is mostly submerged; when the sea is calm, however, imposant remains of port structures and of some suburban "vici" can still be seen between Pozzuoli and Baia.
Arco Felice : This grandiose construction, 20 m. high and 6 m. wide, is a deep cutting through Mount Grillo made by the Romans in order to provide an easier transit from Cumae to Pozzuoli on the Domitian Road (A.D. 95).