Situated on the west of Naples, Pozzuoli, a small fishing village is a geologically important place. From prehistoric period, this has been the center for repeated ground activities called Bradyseism. In this phenomenon, the ground level either increases or decreases due to change in the level of magma underground. This lead to lots of history buried under the ground. By visiting all these natural phenomena, one can easily spend one day at Pozzuoli.
Apart from this, there are three important sights which are worth of visiting – Solfatara, Amphitheatre and Roman Marketplace. All these places can be visited in a half day.
You might have heard about volcanic activities of Mt. Vesuvius on the east side of the Naples city. World Heritage sites Pompeii and Ercolano are the products of activities of this mountain. Naples is under the danger of another such big eruption. But this is not the only active volcano in this region.
Solfatara possesses an equal possibility of a similar strong eruption in the future. What is this Solfatara? The entire region, west to the Naples is full of volcanic craters which are developed due to previous eruptions. Solfatara is one of them, where the underground building up of magma finds the openings, to release the pressure. One can see continuous emission of yellow sulfur vapors and mud and boiling water pits.
Check the video about Solfatara here
There are various guided tours available but one can visit without such tours also. It will take around 1 hour to walk around. There is even a possibility of camping nearby, for a more thrilling experience. Night tours are especially attractive due to colorful floodlights.
Before you go –
- Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. The terrain is rocky and fuming hot. Protect yourself from the sun as well as from hot grounds.
- Read the cautions on the board before entering the area. One needs to understand that this is a dangerous place and one must follow the marked route. Do not let children run around.
- The visit is one of its kind with completely different experience. The air is so hot and moist that one cannot spend a long time here. Remain hydrated.
- There is no public transport facility here. If you are taking a taxi, I will suggest asking the taxi driver to wait for you and return with the same taxi. To find another return taxi might be difficult.
According to scientists, the magma under this region is now under enough pressure that soon this volcano will erupt. So, hurry up and visit this place before it becomes inaccessible.
Do you know that this amphitheater is third largest? It is indeed. This looks a bit smaller than the Colosseum in Rome but it is very well preserved. It was all filled with volcanic ash and that actually helped the building from falling apart.
The building, with 20,000 seating capacity, is elliptical in shape and has -still intact- 3 parts. The underground annular corridors, upper arena floors, and the staircases. One can even see the mechanism for uplifting and lower the cages.
The Amphitheatre is at about 5 min walk from train station. This is not a popular destination. It does not attract a rush of tourists. If you are interested more in history and culture rather than hanging around the crowd then this is the best place to observe and admire roman ruins.
Check the video about Amphitheatre here
Macellum of Pozzuoli
As we already know, Pozzuoli was an important port in the Roman era, then there should be a marketplace for trading. So, this is it. – Markets of Pozzuoli.
I recommend these places because, at least now, these sights are not much crowded. Pozzuoli is easily reachable from Naples. It makes a perfect one-day excursion from Naples.
Read more about such places here.