The Flavian Amphitheater in Pozzuoli and Saint Januarius

The Flavian Amphitheater located in Pozzuoli is the third biggest structure of its kind after the one in Capuano and, of course, Rome’s famous Colosseum. Built in the 1st century AD, it could seat an audience of up to 40,000 people. Some historians claim Emperor Vespasian started it and Titus completed it, while others believe Nero oversaw the entire construction process.

The amphitheater originally had three overlaying levels, four major entrances and 12 secondary ones. It was the center of urban life, and home to a number of professional associations, of which various inscriptions are a clear trace. The underground level was seven meters below the surface; to this day, the remains of the mechanisms that brought the elaborate sets and fierce wild animals to the arena are visible.

The Flavian Amphitheater, indeed, was one of the places of Christian martyrdom. One of the most famous anecdotes that have been passed down over the centuries regards Saint Januarius, now patron saint of Naples – where he is known as San Gennaro. Led into the arena after being sentenced to death, the holy man was brought to the wild beasts – but they refused to attack him and, instead, crouched at his feet. A church was built in 1689 to commemorate the event, but unfortunately it was destroyed in the 14th century, leaving only a small chapel. The miraculous episode is also the focus of a beautiful painting by Artemisia Gentileschi, now in the Cathedral of Pozzuoli.

Flavian Amphitheater
Corso Nicola Terracciano, 75
Pozzuoli (NA)

Photos via:


The Flavian Amphitheater in Pozzuoli and Saint Januarius

Corso Nicola Terracciano, 75


Most Read

Under the starry sky of Val Gardena

by Barbara Palladino A wonderful night in a mountain hut, surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in...

Manifattura Tabacchi: new urban Renaissance

by Barbara PalladinoManifattura Tabacchi is a rationalist industrial complex inaugurated in 1940, opposite the Parco delle Cascine (Cascine Park) in Florence. Once...

Gucci Garden: fashion, luxury and wonder

by Barbara PalladinoLocated in Palazzo della Mercanzia, at the very heart of Florence, Gucci Garden straddles reality and the imagination, summing up...

Anna Fendi’s taste for elegance

by Barbara PalladinoFashion, just like wine, hinges its success on three running themes: passion, excellence and research. These are indeed the three...