If you are ever in Naples, Italy, and in search of a pristine, historic, and authentic ancient Roman experience, head no further than the Amphitheater in Pozzuoli. While the external structure is only so-so, when you descend into its intestines, you will be significantly rewarded. I posted my favorite shot from the outing yesterday, but the rest of them turned out almost as cool. Please scroll down through all of them and think to yourself that what you are seeing is almost exactly as it was over 1700 years ago… Click the picture to see it larger.
This amphitheater is the third largest in all of Italy (Only the Roman Coliseum and Capua Amphitheater are larger).
The Flavian Amphitheater (Anfiteatro flaviano puteolano), sits in upper Pozzuoli, a 15 minute walk from the harbor.
This monstrous place was capable of seating over 20,000 people in its heyday!
Various battles were re-lived in this place, including Naval Battles! They would flood the entire Amphitheater for these battles.
You can see the level of detail that still exists in these various rooms. The state of preservation is fantastic.
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 nearby Solfatara Volcano. It was during the medieval period that the marble used on the exterior was stripped. This had the fortunate result of leaving the interior alone and perfectly preserved. Excavations of the site were performed 1839 to 1845, 1880 to 1882, and finally in 1947.
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.
I tried to process these pictures to make them as close to what it really looked like.
Finally, one of my favorite shots, this little guy was hanging out with us the whole time, his very nice parents speaking to my mother while I was off shooting. While wandering around, he stumbled in to this photo. I think it adds so much more to the picture!
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