The Phlegraean Fields
In the Campi Flegrei area of Campania, a few miles west of Naples, there are natural wonders
such as Europe's newest mountain, steaming volcanoes and cities which rise and fall.
The archaeological record covers Greek settlements - built hundreds of years before Christ -
the ruins of Roman baths, villas, temples and amphitheatres, through to medieval castles and
This map is reproduced from "Campi Flegrei", a brochure published by the Azienda Autonoma Cura
Soggiorno e Turismo di Pozzuoli - the area's tourist board.
Their ageing website (use "Sound", at the left, to stop the annoying music that will repeatedly
start playing) offers very little on its English pages, but rather more on the Italian version:
:: In and around Pozzuoli ::
Just round the bay from Naples, Pozzuoli forms the gateway to the Campei Flegreii - and area rich in ruins
from the days when it was one of ancient Rome's most popular summmer getaways.
The city and surroundings are subject to bradyseism - a slow rising and falling due to changes in pressure
in an underlying magma chamber - and the settlement on the hill above the port, the Rione Terra, has had
to be abandoned several times, most recently in the 1970s.
:: Pozzuoli - the amphitheatre ::
Pozzuoli, Putteoli to the ancient Romans, and Campania's Campi Flegrei are crammed
with historical sites and natural wonders. Elsewhere these places might be stars in
their own right, but here in Campania - overshadowed by Naples and Capri, Pompeii
and Herculaneum - their delights go unnoticed by most visitors.
:: Pozzuoli - the solfatara ::
August 2007 and other visits
:: Transport to sites in Pozzuoli ::
For most of these, it's better to click on the thumbnail image here, to see
a larger more detailed version - with which the links should work!
:: Baia - Roman baths and a castle ::
For centuries the villas around Baia were places of luxurious debauchery, the summer playgrounds of the Roman Empires's richest and most
noble - the contemporary writer Horace declared "there is nowhere in the world more beautiful than enchanting Baia".
Many of ancient Rome's newest building techniques were used here first - including 'opus caementicum' for the huge cement domes
over the thermal baths, and the construction of villas in wonderful positions on terraced hillsides.
Rich archaeological remains have been found, many of the objects are now on display in Naples but some - including the statues from the
nymphaeum of Emperor Claudius - can be seen in the museum at Baia Castle (but do check for opening times before making a special journey!).
:: Cuma - ancient Cumae ::
Ancient Cumae - today know as Cuma - was founded in the 8th century BC, on
the site of an Iron Age village, as the first of many colonies of Magna Graecia
on the Italian mainland.
An offshoot of their trading station, Pithekoussai - on the island of Ischia,
the creation of Greeks from the cities of Chalcis and the hononymous Cumae
(known also as Kyme and, today, Kymi) on the island of Euboea (today, Evia)
- the city thrived until it was overrun by Oscans in 421 BC, eventually
succumbing to the Roman conquest of Campania some eighty years later.
One of the two cities of Cumae gave its name to the Cumae alphabet, a
script that developed into the modern Latin alphabet.
But Cuma is more famous for having been the seat of the Cumean Sibyl -
an ageless priestess who presided over the Apollonian oracle. Of many
seers, the one at Cuma was paramount to the ancient Romans, to whom she
was known as simply "The Sibyl".
In 1932 her cave was rediscovered and identified from a description in
Virgil's Aeneid. It lies at the end of a trapeziodal passage some 130
metres long, in the volcanic tufa of the hillside that climbs above the
city to the acropolis where the ruin of the temple of Apollo can still be seen.
:: A few other places ::
Posillipo and Pausilypon, Nisida and Bagnoli, Capo Miseno, Bacoli, Fusaro...
All places that are littered with remnants of their earlier occupants - from
ancient Greeks and Romans, through to the many Kings of Naples and Sicily.
The complete version of this map - from 2011, but newer than my extract here - is available from
On that you'll also find a key for the numbered "Places of Interest" !
From downtown Pozzuoli, one way to reach Cuma is with the P12R bus, operated by CTP -
but, at least in winter, only every 2 hours...
Pozzuoli's Solfatara is marked by the red "3" - with the Trenitalia / Metro line 2
station which carries its name (physical location, nearer the Amphitheatre) can be
seen marked as simply "Pozzuoli", on the dotted red rail line.
Roughly south of that, the town has a second station - a short walk from the
main harbour and served by the Cumana railway (which, oddly, doesn't go to Cuma!)
Instead, to get to Cuma by rail, you take the Cumana to its western terminus, at
Torregaveta, then change to their Circumflegrea service:
For Cuma - a rather extraordinary diagram....
Can't really be called a map, but offered by SEPSA to show the route taken by
trains of the Circumflegrea railway.
On the ground, their Montesanto terminus in Naples is actually the easternmost
end, with Torregaveta situated on the coast - well beyond the limits of the Bay,
and facing out to Ischia!
The best guide book
"Campi Flegrei" - by Massimo D'Antonio, published by Massa Editore
Available in an English edition, priced at €25 - not cheap but good!