Discovering the wonders through the Campi Flegrei.
Cave at Cumae (Antro della Sibilla)
The Cumaean Sibyl was the priestess presiding over the Apollonian oracle at Cumae, a Greek colony located near Naples, Italy.
The word sibyl comes (via Latin) from the ancient Greek word sibylla, meaning prophetess. There were many sibyls in different locations throughout the ancient world. Because of the importance of the Cumaean Sibyl in the legends of early Rome as codified in Virgil’s Aeneid VI, and because of her proximity to Rome, the Cumaean Sibyl became the most famous among the Romans.
The Erythraean Sibyl from modern-day Turkey was famed among Greeks, as was the oldest Hellenic oracle, the Sibyl of Dodona, possibly dating to the second millennium BC according to Herodotus, favored in the east.
The famous cave known as the “Antro della Sibilla” was discovered by Amedeo Maiuri in 1932, the identification of which he based on the description by Virgil in the 6th book of the Aeneid, and also from the description by an anonymous author known as pseudo-Justin.(Virg. Aen. 6. 45–99; Ps-Justin, 37). The cave is a trapezoidal passage over 131 m long, running parallel to the side of the hill and cut out of the volcanic tuff stone and leads to an innermost chamber, where the Sibyl was thought to have prophesied.
Flavian Amphitheater (Pozzuoli)
The Flavian Amphitheater , located in Pozzuoli, is the third largest Roman amphitheater in Italy. Only the Roman Colosseum and the Capuan Amphitheater are larger. It was likely built by the same architects who previously constructed the Roman Colosseum.
The name Flavian Amphitheater is primarily associated with the Roman Colosseum. It was begun under the reign of the emperor Vespasian and probably finished under the reign of his son Titus. The arena can hold up to 20,000 spectators. The interior is mostly intact and one can still see parts of gears which were used to lift cages up to the arena floor.
In 305, the arena was the setting for the persecutions of the patron of Pozzuoli, Saint Proculus, and the patron saint of Naples, Saint Januarius. After surviving being thrown to the wild beasts in the arena, the two were beheaded at the nearby Solfatara. The modern highly technological equipment of the cellar was completed by the beginning of 2005. It is set in the ancient estate belonging to the Di Palma Family, the actual producers, who avail of the expert professional advice of dr. Carmine Valentino from Avellino.
Macellum of Pozzuoli Temple of Serapis
The Macellum of Pozzuoli : Macellum di Pozzuoli) was the macellum or market building of the Roman colony of Puteoli Puteoli now the city of Pozzuoli in southern Italy. When first excavated in the 18th century, the discovery of a statue of Serapis led to the building being misidentified as the city’s serapeum or Temple of Serapis.
A band of borings or Gastrochaenolites left by marine Lithophaga bivalve molluscs on three standing marble columns indicated that these columns had remained upright over centuries while the site sank below sea level, then re-emerged. This puzzling feature was the subject of debate in early geology, and eventually led to the identification of bradyseism in the area, showing that the Earth’s crust could be subject to gradual movement without destructive earthquakes.
Sunken city of Baia
In its heyday, the Classical Roman city of Baia was the hedonist Las Vegas of the time, but now its remains are partying beneath the waves.
A prominent resort city for centuries, Baia catered to the recreational whims of the rich and powerful among the Roman elite. The city, which was located over natural volcanic vents, was famous for its healing medicinal hot springs which occurred all around the city and were quite easy to build spas over. Some of antiquity’s most powerful figures such as Nero, Cicero, and Caesar were known to have visited the city and a number of them actually built permanent vacation villas there.
Today the ancient remains of Baia can be visited in one of the world’s few underwater archeological parks. Visitors can view the crumbled structures and amazingly preserved statuary of the city through glass-bottomed boats, snorkeling, or even scuba dives which allow people to actually swim amongst the copious ruins. While the city is no longer a resort, its waters still hold wonders.