Flavian Amphitheater

Pozzuoli, Italy

The Flavian Amphitheater is the third largest Roman amphitheater in Italy. Only the Roman Colosseum and the Capuan Amphitheaters are larger. It was likely built by the same architects who previously constructed the Roman Colosseum.

It was begun under the reign of the emperor Vespasian and probably finished under the reign of his son Titus. The arena can hold up to 50,000 spectators. The interior is mostly intact and one can still see parts of gears which were used to lift cages up to the arena floor.

In 305, the arena was the setting for the persecutions of the patron of Pozzuoli, Saint Proculus, and the patron saint of Naples, Saint Januarius. After surviving being thrown to the wild beasts in the arena, the two were beheadedat the nearby Solfatara.

The elliptical structure measures 147 x 117 meters, with the arena floor measuring 72.22 x 42.33 meters.

The Flavian Amphitheater is the second of two Roman amphitheaters built in Pozzuoli. The smaller and older amphitheater (Anfiteatro minore) has been almost totally destroyed by the construction of the Rome to Naples railway line. Only a dozen arches of this earlier work still exist.

The site of the structure was chosen at the nearby crossing of roads from Naples, Capua and Cumae. It was abandoned when it was partially buried by eruptions from the Solfatara volcano. During the Middle Ages, the marble used on the exterior was stripped, but the interior was left alone and is perfectly preserved. Excavations of the site were performed 1839 to 1845, 1880 to 1882, and finally in 1947.

 

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Founded: 1st century AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

trevor “slateman” esposito (9 months ago)
I *loved* this place. After driving past countless times and not knowing where the entrance actually was, my wife and I took the time to go. Even in post-Coronavirus times, the ruins were open with a €4 entrance fee. While it's similar to the Roman Coliseum (built by the same folks, completed around 70CE - not far from when Vesuvius erupted), there's not a tremendous amount to see. You can walk through the main level and traipse through the underground section. Afterwards, the outer area is available to gaze at but honestly, it's not a lot to view. However, what's there is pretty cool and with signs written in both English and Italian, there's a lot of history to absorb. You can do it all in less than an hour, but the price tag is well worth the time. You'll need to park across the street or on the side streets, not always the easiest. But though it's a modest spectacle, the history is intriguing. Don't expect anything too grand, but what's there is awfully cool - if you like this sort of thing (like me!)
Kavindu Giesen (9 months ago)
very empty so you can take your time.
Andy (2 years ago)
3rd largest Roman amphitheatre with most complete underground area. It was amazing to walk around this area seeing where the gladiators and wild animals were and how the trap door system was put into action. Not a crowded monument and can spend as much/little time as you want wondering around.
Tristan Bradley (2 years ago)
Took students here on a school trip. We were pleasantly surprised by this amphitheatre. It is unique for having being so well maintained underneath which was dug out after being covered in dirt over centuries. We randomly met Sergio, an on site office administrator who voluntarily gave us teacher’s a private tour underneath and then up to the main arena of the space. His passion and knowledge made the experience truly special and he also kindly addressed the students with some of the history of the seating and the gladiator events which took place there. If you enjoy Roman history then you must visit. I can not recommend it enough. Ciao Professore Sergio!
Yotbuds (Yotbuds) (2 years ago)
This is an amazing place & well worth a visit. The structure is so impressive in itself but our day was made really special by the wonderful people there, who couldn't do enough for us. Sergio is an expert on the place, the area, languages & the history. His obvious passion for the site was a true delight. Vittorio was also a real pleasure to meet, with lots engaging of stories to tell. We couldn't believe our luck in having found a fascinating place & such warm, kind, friendly & knowledgeable people.
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