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:
https://www.italyformovies.it/location-detail.php?id=17483
https://www.viaggiesapori.net/anfiteatro-flavio-di-pozzuoli/
https://it.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pozzuoli_anfiteatro_subterr%C3%A1neos_46.JPG
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Martyrdom_of_St_Januarius_in_the_Amphitheatre_at_Pozzuoli.jpg

Anfiteatro-Flavio-Pozzuoli-02Anfiteatro-Flavio-Pozzuoli-03Anfiteatro-Flavio-Pozzuoli-04Anfiteatro-Flavio-Pozzuoli-05Anfiteatro-Flavio-Pozzuoli-06Anfiteatro-Flavio-Pozzuoli-07Anfiteatro-Flavio-Pozzuoli-08Anfiteatro-Flavio-Pozzuoli-09Anfiteatro-Flavio-Pozzuoli-10

The Flavian Amphitheater in Pozzuoli and Saint Januarius

Pozzuoli
Corso Nicola Terracciano, 75

WEEKLY POSTCARD

Most Read

Rococo luxury at the Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi

The Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi, near Turin, was designed by Filippo Juvarra and built in 1729; between the 18th and 19th...

Pietro Piffetti: the king of fine cabinetry

by Barbara Palladino His creations sum up every magnificence of 18th-century Baroque style: Pietro Piffetti was one of the most famous and...

Gabinetto del Segreto Maneggio degli Affari di Stato: a triumph of decorative art

by Barbara Palladino Inside Turin’s Royal Palace is one of the gems of 18th-century Baroque art: the Gabinetto del Segreto Maneggio degli...

Antonio Stradivari: the legend and myth of perfect sound

by Barbara Palladino The Stradivarius violin is renowned as the perfect musical instrument. Playing one is a dream come true for any...