10 Best Things To Do In Pozzuoli, Italy - Updated 2024

things to do in Pozzuoli
| 6 min read

Pozzuoli is an Italian city from Roman times on the coast of Campania. The name comes from the Latin word Puteoli, with the root word ‘puteus’, meaning 'well’ and 'osco fistulus’, meaning cave. This place is well known for its well-preserved Roman amphitheater, baths, a necropolis, with stuccoed and painted underground chambers and a plaza that rises and falls with volcanic activity.

It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the geological process called “bradyseism” and it is the hometown of the world-renowned film diva, Sofia Loren. Here are the best things to do in Pozzuoli, Italy!

1. The Flavian Amphitheater (from USD 254.0)

This is the third largest Roman amphitheater in Italy, after the Colosseum in Rome and the Campanian Amphitheater of Santa Maria Capua Vetere. With a seating capacity of 20,000, this was the well-known site of gladiator fights, chariot races, fights with wild beasts, animal slaying and even executions - imagine how people used to witness these events.

Even after many centuries, the structure is still intact and well-preserved. The Flavian Amphitheater is open Wednesday to Monday, from 9 am to an hour before sunset, so visitors may check out the schedule and arrange a tour guide that speaks English.

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Private Colosseum Roman, Forum and Palatine Hill Tour

Duration: 3 hours

17 reviews

2. The Macellum (Temple of Serapide) (from 77.77 USD)

Macellum Pozzuoli
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Miguel Hermoso Cu... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This is a Roman marketplace built in the 1st century AD. When excavations of this site began, archaeologists found a statue of the Egyptian God Serapis, which is why it is also called the Temple of Serapide. The Macellum, which means the market building of the Roman colony of Puteoli, would have been two stories high and surrounded by an arcade of granite columns.

The ground beneath the columns actually moves up and down because of a phenomenon known as “bradyseism”. This means that sometimes the columns can be standing in a few centimeters of water or none at all. This is why is is also called it the “Sunken Temple of Serapide”. The site is not really open to the public since the area is fenced off but visitors can view it from street level, looking down.

The Macellum (Temple of Serapide)

Price: from 77.77 USD


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3. Vulcano Solfatara

Solfatara - Pozzuoli - Campania - Italy
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Norbert Nagel used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Solfatara Volcano still exhibits a remarkable amount of activity that includes sulfurous steam and small eruptions of hot mud and sand. Solfatara once operated as a mine for alum, sulfur, and kaolin. It was around the year 1900 that a thermal bath was built here and people began to enjoy the health benefits of the volcano’s mud and sulfurous water, as well as steam baths in the so-called “Stufe”.

As of today, this place is open for public viewing and there is a day and evening tour, which everyone can enjoy. It takes around 45 minutes to walk through the whole area where guests can learn about and witness the Fangaia (mud pit), the Bocca Grande, the Pozzo, the Stufe and some natural, geological, botanical and wildlife wonders.

There is a playground here for kids to enjoy and there is also a bar that serves coffee and ice cream and sells souvenirs and postcards, as well as tickets for the bus and subway. There is also a bookshop here that offers a wide array of products for the face and body, collections of minerals, fossils and more. And, lastly, there is a campsite here that is open all year round and offers free amenities and services like a pool, hot shower and electricity.

Vulcano Solfatara

Address: Via Solfatara 161, 80078, Pozzuoli, Italy


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4. Lago d'adverno (Lake Avernus)

Lago d'Averno
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mentnafunangann used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Lake Avernus is a volcanic crater lake, located in the Avernus crater in the Campania region of southern Italy, around 4 km (2.5 miles) northwest of Pozzuoli. As the story goes, this is the gateway to Hell as per the Cumaean Sibyl’s predictions, when Aeneas came here to ask her how he could travel to Hades and speak with his dead father (from the book VI Aeneid).

But this 100 foot (30.5 meter) deep lake, with no natural outlet, was surrounded by dense forest in ancient times. During the Roman Empire, they converted the lake into a naval harbor called Portus Julius, which was linked to the sea by a canal via the Lago di Lucrino and to Cumae by a tunnel, which was the world’s first major road tunnel. World War II destroyed part of it and the tunnel was closed since it was too unstable and also damaged by earthquakes.

Nowadays, people can enjoy walking, jogging, biking or just sitting on the green grass and watching the beauty of the lake here. If you are traveling here, there are lots of cafes and restaurants nearby that have a good view of the lake.

Lago d'Adverno (Lake Avernus)

Address: Pozzuoli, Italy


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5. Cumae (from 191.43 USD)

Temple of Apollo (Cumae)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ferdinando Marfella used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Cumae was an ancient city of Magna Graecia on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Founded by settlers from Euboea in the 8th century BC, it is about 19.3 km (12 miles) from Naples and probably the oldest Greek mainland colony. It was said to be the home of Sibyl, the Greek prophetess, whose cavern still exists.

Today this ancient city is still preserved in some parts and from above, it offers a great view of the sea, dunes, forest and other tourist spots, nearby.


Price: from 191.43 USD


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6. Underwater Archaeological Park in Baia

Parco archeologico di Baia
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ruthven used under CC0

They say that Baia catered to the recreational whims of the rich and powerful among the Roman elite. During the 8th century, the city was sacked by the Saracens and it was abandoned in 1500. Since the city remained empty, the water level slowly rose due to volcanic vents and most of the ancient ruins were drowned under the shallow waters of the bay.

Now the Underwater Archaeological Park in Baia can be visited by scuba-diving, snorkeling, and a glass-bottomed boat tour. It is a large area in the Bay of Naples and the islands offer seven dive sites that feature all different kinds of ruins from the sunken city.

Underwater Archaeological Park in Baia

Address: Campania, 80070 Pozzuoli NA, Italy

Website: Underwater Archaeological Park in Baia

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7. Cathedral Basilica San Procolo Martire

Pozzuoli tempio duomo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user FAM1885 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This is the oldest and main place of Catholic worship in Pozzuoli. The church was originally made of cells, square in shape and was built with white marble blocks, connected to each other, but it was seriously damaged when the town of Tripergole was devastated. It was rebuilt and then experienced a fire, then rebuilt again but the old marble blocks are still intact.

Now, this cathedral still stands to tell the history of the old empire and serves its people with its beauty and architectural design. Everyone can see the courtyard through its transparent floors and its designs are really fascinating to all.

Cathedral Basilica San Procolo Martire

Address: Rione Terra, 80078 Pozzuoli NA, Italy


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8. Rione Terra: The old part of Pozzuoli (from USD 86.0)

This is one of the most interesting and historically important sites in Italy. Rione Terra reflects the ancient part of Pozzuoli and includes untouched old streets, buildings and existing houses, which have not changed for hundreds of years. It also includes the old port area and the old church.

You will never regret a tour of this area, as there is an English tour guide who is very informative and explains everything. It also includes a film presentation. The underground sections of the city are open on a limited basis, only twice a week, on Saturdays and Sundays.

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Naples: City Center Walking Tour with Underground Naples

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

123 reviews

9. Sibyl's Cave (from USD 86.0)

As per the old poem and myth, the Sybil acts as a kind of guide to the underworld, into which Aeneas must descend to seek the advice of his dead father Anchises and fulfill his destiny. The passage to this cave has many entrances and is 5 meters (16.4 feet) high by 131 meters (429.8 feet) long, with several side galleries and cisterns. It can fit a large chariot and during Roman times, the cave was a tunnel that linked to Lake Avernus, which was a naval harbor, making this the world’s first major road tunnel.

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Phlegraean Fields Tour from Naples

Duration: 5 hours

2 reviews

10. Oasi Naturalistica di Monte Nuovo (from USD 393.0)

Monte Nuovo is a volcano that is part of Campi Flegrei. It is located in the town of Pozzuoli, near Lake Lucrino and its formation was famous because of an eruption that occurred in 1538, which destroyed the medieval village of Tripergole and caused the whole community to go up in flames. Because of that eruption, all vegetation was destroyed and in its place remained two dry craters.

After this unforgettable eruption, the volcano and its crater became home to different kinds of flora and fauna and, in 1996, the entire area was declared a naturalistic oasis. From this point on people have come here to climb to the top of the crater for the breathtaking views.

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Ancient Herculaneum and Mt Vesuvius Skip-the-Line Private Tour

Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes

1 review

Pozzuoli - A living city living

Volcano Solfatara
Source: Booking.com

Pozzuoli is a must-visit city and you will be fascinated by its amazing geological activity and Greek mythology, that will bring you into the past and have you recalling gladiator fights and the idealism of the emperors.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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