Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

The Amalfi Coast, Capri, and Naples Travel Guide


Legendary spirits populate Pozzuoli. St. Paul stepped ashore at the harbor here in AD 61 en route to Rome: his own ship had been wrecked off Malta, and he was brought here on the Castor and Pollux, a grain ship from Alexandria that was carrying corn from Egypt to Italy. Not far from the harbor esplanade, San Gennaro, patron saint of Naples, earned his holy martyrdom by being thrown to the lions at

an imperial gala staged in the town's enormous amphitheater, constructed by the Flavian emperors (the wild beasts were said to have torn the rags from Gennaro's body but to have left him unharmed—at which point he was taken to the Solfatara and decapitated). More recently, that latter-day goddess Sophia Loren was raised in a house still standing on a backstreet.

Today's Pozzuoli is a well-connected, busy town with about 80,000 inhabitants who are mainly employed by its fisheries, docks, and the tourism industry. Built on geologically unstable land, the area near the port was partially evacuated in the early 1980s due to a phenomenon known as bradyseism, or the rise and fall of the land surface. Since then it has been gradually recolonized and partially gentrified: many of the buildings in the Centro Storico have been given a face-lift, the main park (Villa Avellino) has become a mecca for open-air summer festivals, and the town's reputation as a center for gastronomy has been firmly established. Pozzuoli has also capitalized on its strategic position close to two of the islands in the Bay of Naples, Procida, and Ischia.

One of its selling points is its main arena—Puteoli was the only place in the empire to boast two amphitheaters—offering glimpses into the life of panem et circenses (bread and circuses) in classical times, when Puteoli was one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean and easily eclipsed Neapolis (today's Naples).

Read More



Trip Finder

Fodor's Hong Kong

View Details
Travel Phrases

Learn Italian Phrases before or while you're on the go!

Download Now

No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.