Fodor's Expert Review Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei

Baia Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice

The Castle of Baia, which commands a 360-degree view eastward across the Bay of Pozzuoli and westward across the open Tyrrhenian, provides a fittingly dramatic setting for the Archaeological Museum of Campi Flegrei. Though the castle's foundation dates to the late 15th century, when Naples was ruled by the House of Aragon and an invasion by Charles VIII of France looked imminent, the structure was radically transformed under the Spanish viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo after the nearby eruption of Monte Nuovo in 1538. Indeed, its bastions bear a striking resemblance to the imposing Castel Sant'Elmo in Naples.

The museum has been reorganized to describe in detail the history of Cumae, Puteoli, Baiae, Misenum, and Liternum. Sculptures, architectural remains, pottery, glass, jewelry, and coins are displayed in the ex-dormitories of the soldiers. Of the various exhibitions, the first on the suggested itinerary consists of plaster casts from the Roman period found at the Baia archaeological... READ MORE

The Castle of Baia, which commands a 360-degree view eastward across the Bay of Pozzuoli and westward across the open Tyrrhenian, provides a fittingly dramatic setting for the Archaeological Museum of Campi Flegrei. Though the castle's foundation dates to the late 15th century, when Naples was ruled by the House of Aragon and an invasion by Charles VIII of France looked imminent, the structure was radically transformed under the Spanish viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo after the nearby eruption of Monte Nuovo in 1538. Indeed, its bastions bear a striking resemblance to the imposing Castel Sant'Elmo in Naples.

The museum has been reorganized to describe in detail the history of Cumae, Puteoli, Baiae, Misenum, and Liternum. Sculptures, architectural remains, pottery, glass, jewelry, and coins are displayed in the ex-dormitories of the soldiers. Of the various exhibitions, the first on the suggested itinerary consists of plaster casts from the Roman period found at the Baia archaeological site. This gives valuable insights into the techniques used by the Romans to make copies from Greek originals in bronze from the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Pride of place goes to the sacellum, or small sanctuary, transported from nearby Misenum and tastefully displayed inside the Aragonese tower, the Torre Tenaglia. Standing about 20 feet high, the sacellum has been reconstructed, with two of its original six columns (the rest in steel) and a marble architrave with its dedicatory inscription to the husband-and-wife team who commissioned sanctuary's restoration in the 2nd century AD. The beneficent couple is depicted above this. Another highlight is the marble splendor of the Ninfeo Imperiale di Punta Epitaffio, or Nymphaeum of Emperor Claudius, which was discovered in 1969 some 23 feet below the waters of the Bay of Pozzuoli. Note that although this museum is poorly maintained and staffed it's well worth visiting, given that it's not often you find yourself alone among such fascinating ancient artifacts.

READ LESS
Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Via Castello 39
Baia, Campania  80070, Italy

081-5233797

www.coopculture.it

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €4, including Cumae, Parco Archeologico di Baia, and Anfiteatro Flavio

What’s Nearby