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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Details

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

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kristopher Amar (15 months ago)
Pretty damn cool place
Ollie Beard (16 months ago)
Good description and the tour guide told much information and kept it all very interesting!
Francesca Cheshier (18 months ago)
The Anfiteatro is in very good condition. It is located in my hometown, and I am proud of it. I have always loved it, and love to go to it. The Anfiteatro is a must if you are in Pozzuoli, the entry ticket is about € 6.00. Also, just so you know, the first Sunday of each month you can visit more than 480 museums, archeological sites and monuments all across Italy for free.
chris cronkrite (2 years ago)
I have visited this amazing structure many times, but the times I have walked through with Sergio as my guide have been the very best. He is the most knowledgeable person regarding the theater. I can't thank him enough for sharing his information.
Jaclyn Mazzella (2 years ago)
Came here on a pit stop. Much smaller and pretty awesome you can get underground to see beneath. Easily seen in an hour even less. Very well preserved.
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