The city of Liternum, one of the oldest Roman colonies, was founded in the year 194 on the fertile banks of the Literna Palus. The city was at its most prosperous during the Augustan era, thanks to the construction of the Via Domitiana, a road which linked it with Rome and the Phlegrean area.
The archaeological park is spread over an area of 85,000 m2 on the edges of the lake Patria, which are walkable.
It borders with a splendid pine forest, ‘Silva Gallinaria’, described by Pliny the Younger, located close to the sea, rich with Mediterranean plant life and a wide variety of birds. Archaeological and nature guides accompany visitors in their discovery of this splendid place. There are bird watching stations, visits on horseback or by bike, and other activities available in the Liternum Park.
The Phlegrean Fields are a vast volcanic area, situated to the north-west of Naples. The word ‘phlegrean’ derives from the Greek word ‘flègo’ meaning ‘I burn’. To this day, there are at least 24 craters and volcanic constructions which can still be recognised. Some of them even demonstrate effusive gas flow (in Solfatara) and hydrothermal gases (Agnano, Pozzuoli, and Lucrino); they also demonstrate the phenomenon of Bradyseism (particularly recognisable for its presence in the past at the so called “Serapeum” of Pozzuoli).
Originally, Pozzuoli was a Greek-Cumaean commercial port, the actual city was founded in 528 BC by a group of Sami exiles, and it was called Diceàrchia (Δικεάρχια in Greek, meaning “good government” .
In 421 BC, it came into the hands of the Samnites. After the Roman conquest of Campania (228 BC), Puteoli (or Puteolos, in Greek Πυτέολος) (renamed thus because of the numerous thermo-mineral water springs) began to assume greater importance and the port became fundamental for commercial trade in that time.
In 194 BC, Pozzuoli became a Roman colony and from that moment its importance would grow even more, because the Romans made it their main port . They connected it to Rome and the main cities of Campania through a greatly efficient road network, , while all the most prosperous sea cities of the East set up trade posts there. There were some incredible monuments built there, such as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Temple of Serapis, the Stadium of Antoninus Pius, the Minor Amphitheatre and the Temple of Augustus.
Situated in the gulf of the same name, Pozzuoli is located in a volcanic area, the Phlegrean Fields (‘burning fields’), which includes an active volcano, the Solfatara. A geo-seismic phenomenon which is characteristic of this city and the Phlegrean Fields as a whole is Bradyseism, that is, the rising and sinking of the earth’s crust as a result of pressure from underground. The rapid rising of the sea level flooded the port in the 1980s; the port was repositioned 50 metres further forward than its previous position.
The Solfatara volcano, with an elliptical crater (770m x 580m), dates back around 4000 years and is the only one in the Phlegrean Fields which is still active; it boasts truly impressive fumaroles.
The last eruption, which has not been historically ascertained, is thought to have occurred in 1198.
This site, completely carved into the tuff, is fascinating and fear-provoking, due to the mysterious atmosphere which surrounds it.
According to Virgil’s description (Aeneid, book VI), it is here that Apollo’s legendary priestess was to be found. It could, however, also be a rare example of funerary architecture, inspired by Crete and the Mycenaean civilisation. A corridor (dromos) 131.5m long, 2.4m wide and approximately 5m high, in a trapezoidal shape and lit up by 6 lateral openings, guides you through an arched setting, then moving into a more hidden one.
Recent studies suggest that the structure performed a function of defending the port area below.
Temple of Serapis
During the excavations in 1750, a statue of the Egyptian god Serapis was discovered, and unofficially it was kept as a ‘temple’. The ‘macellum’ (market), was connected to the port area (1st – 2nd Century AD). The three columns, made from Cipollino marble, have clear traces of holes caused by mussels, showing the alternate bradyseismic movement in the area.
Palace of Caserta
The Royal Palace of Caserta (Reggia di Caserta) is a historic dwelling which belonged to the Bourbons of Naples, a royal house. The Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Ruins of Pompeii
The archaeological excavation of Pompeii has allowed for the ruins of the ancient city to be maintained. The city, on the hill of Civita, was buried under a layer of ash and lapilli during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79, along with Ercolano, Stabiae and Oplonti
Lush and extraordinary, with a wonderfully mild climate.
Of calcareous origins, Capri is an island in the Mediterranean which, over time, has seen intellectuals, artists and writers being overcome by its magical beauty.
A mix of history, nature, worldliness, culture and events – all these combine, day after day, and brought about the myth of Capri, a myth without parallel, anywhere in the world.
Ischia is an Italian island belonging to the archipelago of Phlegrean Islands, in Campania.