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3 Jul

The myth of Homer and Virgil

For this month we will take you to the discovery of Campi Flegrei, a huge volcanic area that extends west of the Gulf of Naples. It is an obligatory stop in the visit of Italy, because in these places history, art and legend coexist: hence the myth of Homer and Virgil, Greek and Latin culture spread throughout the peninsula.

It is characterized by fumaroles, boiling vapors and craters that form natural amphitheaters. The name derives from the Greek “phlegraios”, burning, these are on a volcanic territory immersed in the Mediterranean scrub. From the volcanic complexes to the archaeological sites, passing through the beauty of the lakes, there are different routes that can be followed starting from the Solfatara, an elliptical volcanic crater dating back to about four thousand years ago.

Similarly, the Monte Nuovo, which hosts the homonymous Natural Oasis born in 1996, gives strong emotions: 140 meters high, is perhaps the youngest mountain in Europe. From Monte Nuovo you pass to the lakes. The craters that mark the whole territory of the fields, in fact, have constituted in some cases the natural reservoirs, giving rise to more or less extensive lakes. Near Arco Felice, you can see Lake Averno, a stretch of water surrounded by lush vegetation and vineyards. For the solemnity of the place, the ancients identified this characteristic crater-lake as the entrance to the underworld.

The banks of the basin are crossed by two paths, one of which leads to the Antro della Sibilla, a tunnel and military passage dug into the tuff and made to facilitate connections with the Averno and Lucrino during the construction of the port Giulio, in the area of Cuma, the oldest Greek colony in Italy.

To the north-west of Bacoli, there is the Lake Fusaro, suggestive to visit, whose beauty is enhanced by the Casina Vanvitelliana, built in 1770 on a project by Vanvitelli for King Ferdinando IV, when the area was a hunting reserve.

Inside one of the craters, there is also the Natural Reserve of the Astroni Crater, an oasis protected by WWF that offers nature trails, educational facilities and a wild animal recovery center.

From the lakes, to the visit of the archaeological areas, the step is short: in Pozzuoli, close to the Flavian Amphitheater, the third largest in Italy, you can visit the Rione Terra, the ancient acropolis that dominates the town and rests on a tufaceous spur extending over the waters of the gulf, between Nisida and Baia.

Baia is also known for its Castle of Aragonese origin, which houses the Archaeological Museum and a collection of ancient artifacts: from the so-called “Gessi di Baia”, a set of fragments of plaster casts from the Roman age, to the “Sacello degli Augustali “, an important monument to Miseno.

 

In 2002 the submerged Park of Baia was also established, a protected marine area that, with the charm of an environment characterized by rocky bottoms interrupted by volcanic amphitheatres, unites the thrill of being able to see remains of walls, whole rooms, porches with columns and mosaics, but of this … we have already talked about it! To know more, go to conciergerie!

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