Italy

In Florence, from 26 September to 4 October, the Biennial Antiques

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In Florence, from 26 September to 4 October, the Biennial Antiques

Fabrizio Moretti, “will showcase the world of Italian art”

moretti_fabrizioSeptember 26 until October 4 at the Palazzo Corsini on the Arno will host the twenty-ninth edition of the International Biennial of Antiques in Florence (BIAF).

“Even more quality and more international in order to confirm the foremost qualified, extensive and fascinating of the great tradition of Italian art,” says the new general secretary of the Biennale

Fabrizio Moretti.

79 ancient and modern art dealers come from all over the world to exhibit works of high quality carefully selected: there will be big returns as Jean-Luc Baroni, London, but also prominent new features, including Otto Naumann Ltd., New York, and Dr. . Jorn Guenther Rare Books Ag, one of the leading merchants of books and prints with galleries in Stalden and Basel, as well as like confirmations Mullany, London, De Jonckheere, Paris and Geneva, Caesar Lampronti, London and Rome, Robilant + Voena, Milan and London.

More and more open to modern art with the new presence of the Galleria Tega Milan, the Galleria Farsetti Frediano of Florence and Tornabuoni Art, Florence, Milan, Paris, which will be added to Sperone Westwater, New York, already present some editions.

The director and set designer of international renown Pierluigi Pizzi propose some changes along the exhibition, inspired as always sumptuous architecture of Palazzo Corsini it will be highlighted the monumental staircase recently restored, the access from the Arno river will be made more functional and welcoming, but especially the Throne Room, a large room of 320 square meters made by Antonio Maria Ferri between 1684 and 1696, for the first time will not be an exhibition space but a place to meet, relax and entertainment and can be enjoyed by guests of all Biennale its splendor.

In the Throne Room Thursday, September 24 there will be a welcome dinner in honor of the guests with a menu created by chef Marco Stabile Florence or wine from Antinori Cellars, followed by a fireworks display on the terrace of Palazzo Corsini.

It will be a Biennale, as well as other international exhibitions such as the TEFAF Maastricht and the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, he lived at 360 ° from the city that hosts it, as advocated by the mayor of Florence Dario Nardella, chairman of the steering committee of BIAF. For this purpose we were involved numerous economic, accommodation, hotels, restaurants and boutiques of Florence historical center, that will welcome visitors to the Biennale.

Among the works on display: Giambattista Tiepolo (Venice 1696-1770 Madrid) with “Portrait of Flora”, a work of beauty and high quality made in the mid-eighteenth century and discovered a few years ago in a French aristocrat castle, where he had been hiding for two centuries because it was considered subject of “risque” (Jean-Luc Baroni); Luca Giordano (Naples 1634-1705) with “The Glory of St. Andrew Corsini,” a rare masterpiece never been on the market before, as commissioned and for the principles Corsini and since then more guarded in their collection (Antonacci -Lapiccirella Fine Art); Giorgio De Chirico (Volos 1888 – Rome 1978) with the oil on canvas “Horses and ruins on the seashore” (Art Gallery Frediano Doubleday). In addition to paintings also sculptures, drawings and engravings, furniture and manuscripts.

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BIAF Biennale 2015

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NAPLES – ART, ARCHITECTURE IN ADDITION TO IT’S HISTORY

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Schermata 2015-09-22 alle 22.04.58

NAPLES – ART, ARCHITECTURE IN ADDITION TO IT’S HISTORY

Naples has long been a centre of art and architecture, dotted with Medieval, Baroque and Renaissance-era churches, castles and palaces. In the 18th century, Naples went through a period of neoclassicism, following the discovery of the remarkably intact Roman ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii.

The Neapolitan Academy of Fine Arts, founded by Charles III of Bourbon in 1752 as the Real Accademia di Disegno (en: Royal Academy of Design), was the centre of the artistic School of Posillipo in the 19th century. Artists such as Domenico Morelli, Giacomo Di Chirico, Francesco Saverio Altamura, and Gioacchino Toma worked in Naples during this period, and many of their works are now exhibited in the Academy’s art collection. The modern Academy offers courses in painting, decorating, sculpture, design, restoration, and urban planning. Naples is also known for its theatres, which are among the oldest in Europe – the Teatro di San Carlo opera house dates back to the 18th century.

Naples is also the home of the artistic tradition of Capodimonte porcelain. In 1743, Charles of Bourbon founded the Royal Factory of Capodimonte, many of whose artworks are now on display in the Museum of Capodimonte. Several of Naples’ mid-19th-century porcelain factories remain active today.

Naples is internationally famous for its cuisine and wine; it draws culinary influences from the numerous cultures which have inhabited it over the course of its history, including the Greeks, Spanish and French. Neapolitan cuisine emerged as a distinct form in the 18th century. The ingredients are typically rich in taste, while remaining affordable to the general populace.[127]

Naples is traditionally credited as the home of pizza.[128] This originated as a meal of the poor, but under Ferdinand IV it became popular among the upper classes: famously, the Margherita pizza was named after Queen Margherita of Savoy after her visit to the city.[128] Cooked traditionally in a wood-burning oven, the ingredients of Neapolitan pizza have been strictly regulated by law since 2004, and must include wheat flour type “00” with the addition of flour type “0” yeast, natural mineral water, peeled tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.[129]

Spaghetti is also associated with the city and is commonly eaten with the sauce ragù: a popular Neapolitan folkloric symbol is the comic figure Pulcinella eating a plate of spaghetti.[130] Other dishes popular in Naples include Parmigiana di melanzane, spaghetti alle vongole and casatiello.[131] As a coastal city, Naples is furthermore known for numerous seafood dishes, including impepata di cozze (peppered mussels), purpetiello affogato (octopus poached in broth), alici marinate (marinated anchovies), baccalà alla napoletana (salt cod) and baccalà fritto (fried cod), a dish commonly eaten during the Christmas period.

Naples is well known for its sweet dishes, including colourful gelato, which is similar to ice cream, though more fruit-based. Popular Neapolitan pastry dishes include zeppole (more commonly called “‘a Pasta Cresciuta” and “‘e fFritt’ ‘e Viento”) babà, sfogliatelle and pastiera, the latter of which is prepared specially for Easter celebrations.[132] Another seasonal sweet is struffoli, a sweet-tasting honey dough decorated and eaten around Christmas.[133] Neapolitan coffee is also widely acclaimed. The traditional Neapolitan flip coffee pot, known as the cuccuma or cuccumella, was the basis for the invention of the espresso machine, and also inspired the Moka pot.

Wineries in the Vesuvius area produce wines such as the Lacryma Christi (“tears of Christ”) and Terzigno. Naples is also the home of limoncello, a popular lemon liqueur.

Naples has had an enormous influence on Italian cinema since its beginning, because many literary stories, dramas and comedies spotting the city of Naples as background had been ported into corresponding movie version. For example, Naples was the location for some of the first Italian cinema masterpieces, like Assunta Spina, adapted from a theatrical drama by a novel of the writer Salvatore Di Giacomo. It was directed both by neapolitan director Gustavo Serena one of first directors of movies in Italy, and by Francesca Bertini (born in Florence, who spent her childhood in Naples), one of the first stars of cinema worldwide.

Naples and its surroundings also gave birth to many of Italians directors and actors such as Vittorio De Sica (born in Sora, Academy Award winner), Sophia Loren (born in Pozzuoli, Academy Award winner), Gabriele Salvatores (Academy Award winner), Massimo Troisi (born in San Giorgio a Cremano), Totò (stage name of Antonio de Curtis ), Eduardo De Filippo, Peppino De Filippo, Titina De Filippo, Nino Taranto, Tina Pica, Bud Spencer (stage name of Carlo Pedersoli), Aldo and Carlo Giuffré, Lina Sastri, Mario Merola, Nino D’Angelo, Mario Martone, Paolo Sorrentino, Toni Servillo (born in Afragola) and Pappi Corsicato.

Naples is also the leading location of the first Italian color movie, Carosello Napoletano, despite the fact that oleographic slices of the city were entirely reconstructed in studios and not in live locations.

Some notable comedies set in Naples include “Ieri, Oggi e Domani” (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow), by Vittorio De Sica, starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, Episode “Adelina of Naples” (Academy Award winning movie), It Started in Naples, L’oro di Napoli again by Vittorio De Sica, dramatic movies like Dino Risi‘s Scent of a Woman, war movies like “The four days of Naples” by Sardinian director Nanni Loy, music and Sceneggiata movies like Zappatore, from the eponymous song by Libero Bovio, starring singer and actor Mario Merola, crime movies like Il Camorrista with Ben Gazzara playing the part of infamous camorra boss Raffaele Cutolo, and historical or costume movies like That Hamilton Woman starring Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier.

More modern Neapolitan films include Ricomincio da tre, which depicts the misadventures of a young emigrant in the late 20th century. The 2008 film Gomorrah, based on the book by Roberto Saviano, explores the dark underbelly of the city of Naples through five intertwining stories about the powerful Neapolitan crime syndicate, the Camorra.

Naples has appeared in episodes of TV serials like The Sopranos and miniseries like the 1998 version of The Count of Monte Cristo, starring Gérard Depardieu.

The Naples dialect, a distinct language which is mainly spoken in the city, is also found in the region of Campania, and has been diffused to other areas of Southern Italy by Neapolitan migrants. On 14 October 2008, a law was passed by the Region of Campania, stating that the Neapolitan language was to be legally protected.[136]

The term “Neapolitan language” is often used to describe the language of all of Campania, and is sometimes applied to the entire South Italian language; Ethnologue refers to the latter as Napoletano-Calabrese.[137] This linguistic group is spoken throughout most of southern continental Italy, including the Gaeta and Sora district of southern Lazio, the southern part of Marche and Abruzzo, Molise, Basilicata, northern Calabria, and northern and central Puglia. In 1976, there were theorised to be 7,047,399 native speakers of this group of dialects.

Naples is one of the main centres of Italian literature. The history of the Neapolitan language was deeply entwined with that of the Tuscan dialect which then became the current Italian language. The first written testimonies of the Italian language are the Placiti Cassinensi legal documents, dated 960 A.D., preserved in the Monte Cassino Abbey, which are in fact evidence of a language spoken in a southern dialect. The Tuscan poet Boccaccio lived for many years at the court of King Robert the Wise and used Naples as a setting for The Decameron and a number of his later novels. His works contain some words that are taken from Neapolitan instead of the corresponding Italian, e.g. “testo” (neap.: “testa”) which in Naples indicates a large terracotta jar used to cultivate shrubs and little trees. King Alfonso V of Aragon stated in 1442 that the Neapolitan language was to be used instead of latin in official documents.

Later Neapolitan was replaced by Spanish during Spanish domination, and then by Italian. In 1458 the Accademia Pontaniana, one of the first academies in Italy, was established in Naples as a free initiative by men of letters, science and literature. In 1480 the writer and poet Jacopo Sannazzaro wrote the first pastoral romance, Arcadia, which influenced Italian literature. In 1634 Giambattista Basile collected Lo Cunto de li Cunti, five books of ancient tales written in the Neapolitan dialect rather than Italian. Philosopher Giordano Bruno, who theorized the existence of infinite solar systems and the infinity of the entire universe, completed his studies at University of Naples. Due to philosophers such as Giambattista Vico, Naples became one of the centres of the Italian peninsula for historic and philosophy of history studies.

Jurisprudence studies were enhanced in Naples thanks to eminent personalities of jurists ike Bernardo Tanucci, Gaetano Filangieri and Antonio Genovesi. In the 18th century Naples, together with Milan, became one of the most important sites from which the Enlightenment penetrated into Italy. Poet and philosopher Giacomo Leopardi visited the city in 1837 and then died there. His works influenced Francesco de Sanctis who made his studies in Naples, and then eventually became Minister of Instruction during the Italian kingdom. De Sanctis was one of the first literary critics to discover, study and diffusing the poems and literary works of the great poet from Recanati.

Writer and journalist Matilde Serao co-founded the newspaper Il Mattino with her husband Edoardo Scarfoglio in 1892. Serao was an acclaimed novelist and writer during her day. Poet Salvatore Di Giacomo was one of the most famous writers in the Neapolitan dialect, and many of his poems were adapted to music, becoming famous Neapolitan songs. In the 20th century, philosophers like Benedetto Croce pursued the long tradition of philosophy studies in Naples, and personalities like jurist and lawyer Enrico De Nicola pursued legal and constitutional studies. De Nicola later helped to draft the modern Constitution of the Italian Republic, and was eventually elected to the office of President of the Italian Republic. Other noted Neapolitan writers and journalists include Antonio De Curtis, Curzio Malaparte, Giancarlo Siani and Roberto Saviano. Naples was one of the centers of the peninsula from which originated the modern theatre genre as nowadays intended, evolving from 16th century “comedy of art“. The masked character of Pulcinella is worldwide famous figure either as theatrical character or puppetry character.

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The music Opera genre of opera buffa was born in Naples in the 18th century and then spread to Rome and then in northern Italy. In the period of Belle Époque Naples rivaled with Paris for its Café-chantants, and many famous neapolitan songs were originally born to entertain the public of cafès of Naples. The most famous known is “Ninì Tirabusciò”. The history of how this song was birth was dramatized in the eponymous comedy movie “Ninì Tirabusciò: la donna che inventò la mossa” starring Monica Vitti. The Neapolitan popular genre of “Sceneggiata” is one of the most important genres of modern folk theatre worldwide, dramatizing common canon themes of thwarted love stories, comedies, tearjerker sob stories, commonly about honest people becoming camorra outlaws due to unfortunate events. Born in little folk theatres in the period between the end of the 19th century and the World War I, as evolution and crystallization of the neapolitan comedy of art, the Sceneggiata collected an immense success amongst the neapolitan people, and then became one of the most famous and worldwide known genres of Italian cinema thanks to actors and singers like Mario Merola and Nino D’Angelo. Many writers and playwrights such as Raffaele Viviani wrote comedies and dramas for this genre. Actors and comedians like Eduardo Scarpetta and then his sons Eduardo De Filippo, Peppino De Filippo and Titina De Filippo, during a two generations long effort, contributed to make worldwide known the neapolitan theatre and its comedies and tragedy plays, such as “Filumena Marturano” and “Napoli Milionaria“. Actors like prince Antonio de Curtis, Peppino De Filippo, Nino Taranto and many others begun their fame as comedians of Variety show (in Italian called “Varietà”) touring in theatres along all Italy, then became famous as cinema actors and, in the end of their career, pioneered the TV in Italy. Eduardo De Filippo ported his theatrical plays as cinema movies and then recording for TV his masterpieces and live theatrical performances. Nowadays comedians like Massimo Troisi started their career in small theatres and cabarets or even discoteques and then emerged in TV entertainment and comedy shows.

Naples has played an important role in the history of Western European art music for more than four centuries.[138] The first music conservatories were established in the city under Spanish rule in the 16th century. The San Pietro a Majella music conservatory, founded in 1826 by Francesco I of Bourbon, continues to operate today as both a prestigious centre of musical education and a musical museum.

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During the late Baroque period, Alessandro Scarlatti, the father of Domenico Scarlatti, established the Neapolitan school of opera; this was in the form of opera seria, which was a new development for its time.[139] Another form of opera originating in Naples is opera buffa, a style of comic opera strongly linked to Battista Pergolesi and Piccinni; later contributors to the genre included Rossini and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.[140] The Teatro di San Carlo, built in 1737, is the oldest working theatre in Europe, and remains the operatic centre of Naples.[141]

The earliest six-string guitar was created by the Neapolitan Gaetano Vinaccia in 1779; the instrument is now referred to as the romantic guitar. The Vinaccia family also developed the mandolin.[142][143] Influenced by the Spanish, Neapolitans became pioneers of classical guitar music, with Ferdinando Carulli and Mauro Giuliani being prominent exponents.[144] Giuliani, who was actually from Apulia but lived and worked in Naples, is widely considered to be one of the greatest guitar players and composers of the 19th century, along with his Catalan contemporary Fernando Sor.[145][146] Another Neapolitan musician of note was opera singer Enrico Caruso, one of the most prominent opera tenors of all time:[147] he was considered a man of the people in Naples, hailing from a working-class background.[148]

A popoluar traditional dance in Southern Italy and Naples is the Tarantella, originated in the Apulia region and spread next to all part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The Neapolitan tarantella is a courtship dance performed by couples whose “rhythms, melodies, gestures, and accompanying songs are quite distinct” featuring faster more cheerful music.

A notable element of popular Neapolitan music is the Canzone Napoletana style, essentially the traditional music of the city, with a repertoire of hundreds of folk songs, some of which can be traced back to the 13th century.[149] The genre became a formal institution in 1835, after the introduction of the annual Festival of Piedigrotta songwriting competition.[149] Some of the best-known recording artists in this field include Roberto Murolo, Sergio Bruni and Renato Carosone.[150] There are furthermore various forms of music popular in Naples but not well known outside it, such as cantautore (“singer-songwriter”) and sceneggiata, which has been described as a musical soap opera; the most well-known exponent of this style is Mario Merola.

Football is by far the most popular sport in Naples. Brought to the city by the British during the early 20th century,[152] the sport is deeply embedded in local culture: it is popular at every level of society, from the scugnizzi (street children) to wealthy professionals. The city’s best known football club is SSC Napoli, which plays its home games at the Stadio San Paolo in Fuorigrotta. The team plays in the Serie A league and has won the Scudetto twice, the Coppa Italia five times and the Supercoppa Italiana twice. The team has also won the UEFA Cup,[153] and once named FIFA Player of the Century Diego Maradona among its players. Naples has itself produced numerous prominent professional footballers, including Ciro Ferrara and Fabio Cannavaro. Cannavaro was captain of Italy’s national team until 2010, and led the team to victory in the 2006 World Cup. He was consequently named World Player of the Year.

Some of the city’s smaller clubs include Sporting Neapolis and Internapoli, which play at the Stadio Arturo Collana. The city also has teams in a variety of other sports: Eldo Napoli represents the city in basketball’s Serie A and plays in the city of Bagnoli. Partenope Rugby are the city’s best-known rugby union side: the team has won the rugby union Serie A twice. Other popular local sports include water polo, horse racing, sailing, fencing, boxing, taekwondo and martial arts. The Accademia Nazionale di Scherma (National Academy and Fencing School of Naples) is the only place in Italy where the titles “Master of Sword” and “Master of Kendo” can be obtained.[154

 Kathy Kiefer

CAMPANIA A HISTORIAL LOOK

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Schermata 2015-09-22 alle 21.23.46

CAMPANIA A HISTORIAL LOOK

 

Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region at the end of 2014 had a population of around 5.869 million people, making it the third-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km2 (5,247 sq. mi) makes it the most densely populated region in the country. Located on the Italian Peninsula, with the Mediterranean Sea to the west, it includes the small Phlegraean Islands and Capri for administration as part of the region.

Located on the Italian Peninsula, Campania was colonized by Ancient Greeks and was part of Magna Graecia. During the Roman era, the area maintained a Greco-Roman culture. The capital city of Campania is Naples. Campania is rich in culture, especially in regard to gastronomy, music, architecture, archeological and ancient sites such as Pompeii, Herculaneum, Paestum and Velia. The name of Campania itself is derived from Latin, as the Romans knew the region as Campania felix, which translates into English as “fertile country side”. The rich natural sights of Campania make it highly important in the tourism industry, especially along the Amalfi Coast, Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri.

Saints Peter and Paul are said to have preached in the city of Naples, and there were also several martyrs in the region during this time. Unfortunately, the period of relative calm was violently interrupted by the epic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 which buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.   Sicily and Naples were separated in 1458 but remained as dependencies of Aragon under Ferrante. The new dynasty enhanced Naples’ commerce by establishing relations with the Iberian Peninsula. Naples also became a centre of the Renaissance, with artists such as Laurana, da Messina, Sannazzaro and Poliziano arriving in the city. During the Baroque era it was home to artists including Rosa, Caravaggio and Bernini; philosophers such as Telesio, Bruno, Campanella and Vico; and writers such as Battista Marino. A revolution led by local fisherman Masaniello saw the creation of a brief independent Neapolitan Republic, though this lasted only a few months before Spanish rule was regained.

Campania has an area of 13,590 km2 (5,247 sq. mi) and a coastline of 350 km (217 mi) on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Campania is famous for its gulfs (Naples, Salerno and Policastro) as well as for three islands (Capri, Ischia and Procida). Four other regions border Campania; Lazio to the northwest, Molise to the north, Puglia to the northeast and Basilicata to the east.

The mountainous interior is fragmented into several massifs, rarely reaching 2,000 meters (Miletto of 2,050 m), whereas close to the coast there are volcanic massifs: Vesuvio (1,277 m) and Campi Flegrei.

The climate is typically Mediterranean along the coast, whereas in the inner zones it is more continental, with low temperatures in winter. 51% of the total area is hilly, 34% mountainous and the remaining 15% is made up of plains. There is a high ‘seismic’ risk in the area of the region.

The agro-food industry is one of the main pillars of industry of Campania. The organization of the sector is improving and leading to higher levels of quality and salaries. Campania mainly produces fruit and vegetables, but has also expanded its production of flowers grown in greenhouses, becoming one of the leading regions of the sector in Italy. The value added of this sector represents around 6.5% of the total value added of the region, equaling €213.7 million. Campania produces over 50% of Italy’s nuts and is also the leader in the production of tomatoes, which reaches 1.5 million tonnes a year. A weak point, however, for the region’s agriculture is the reduced size of farms, equal to 3.53 hectares. Animal breeding is widespread (it was done in 70,278 farms in 2000) and the milk produced is used to process typical products, such as mozzarella. Olive trees cover over 74,604 hectares of the agricultural land and contribute by €620.6 million to the value added of agriculture, together with the production of fruit. Wine production has increased, together with the quality of the wine.

The region has a dense network of road and motorways, a system of maritime connections and an airport, which connect it rapidly to the rest of the Country. Campania has a series of historical problems and internal contrasts, although they are improving. The regional capital, Naples, one of the most populated and interesting cities in Italy, rich in history and natural beauty, both artistic and archaeological, still represents the centre of regional life. The port connects the region with the whole Mediterranean basin, and brings tourists to the archaeological sites, the cities of art (Naples and Caserta), to the beautiful coastal areas and to the islands. The services sector makes up for 78% of the region’s gross domestic product. The region, with a population of over 5.8 million inhabitants, is divided into five provinces: Naples, Benevento, Avellino, Caserta and Salerno. Over half of the population is resident in the province of Naples, where there is a population density of 2,626 inhabitants per km2. Within the province, the highest density can be found along the coast, where it reaches 13,000 inhabitants per km2 in the city of Portici. The region, which was characterized until recently by an acute economic contrast between internal and coastal areas, has shown an improvement in the last decade thanks to the development of the provinces of Benevento and Avellino. At the same time, the provinces of Naples, Caserta and in part Salerno, have developed a variety of activities connected to advanced types of services.

The Politics of Campania takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democracy, whereby the President of Regional Government is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the Regional Government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Regional Council.

The Regional Council of Campania (Consiglio Regionale della Campania) is composed of 60 members, of which 47 are elected in provincial constituencies with proportional representation, 12 from the so-called “regional list” of the elected President and the last one is for the candidate for President who comes second, who usually becomes the leader of the opposition in the Council. If a coalition wins more than 55% of the vote, only 6 candidates from the “regional list” will be elected and the number of those elected in provincial constituencies will be 53.

Kathy Kiefer

 

POZZUOLI – RIONE TERRA

Posted on Updated on

Schermata 2015-09-08 alle 13.03.35

POZZUOLI – RIONE TERRA

Pozzuoli, the city of the Campania, just a few miles from Naples, with which together with: Amalfi, Ischia, Capri, Bacoli, Sorrento, shares the Gulf more ‘beautiful and picturesque southern Italy. Undisputed guardian of all the adventures is the Vesuvius, that with its plume asleep, feeds a number of mouths of volcanic vent called sulphurous. Terme, Stufe di Nerone, settlements natural Spa, Thalassotherapy, etc. are the frame together with a wonderful area called the Flegrea zone.

1While attending the international conference where today the important and significant matter being discussed is the theme of the development of the oldest district in the city – Flegrea.   This matter holds a great deal of historical and cultural significance and importance to the region.

Let’s take a cue from journalist Elisabetta Froncillo to retrace the path from last winter with the courtesy of Mayor Vincenzo Figliolia; we undertook the photoshoot that we have attached with the article.
We work to redraw the future. With the International Meeting set to discuss the relaunch project for submission to Lubec and feel that this goal shall be achieved.

This is a special place of history and heritage, which since 1970 has been denied. Ittempio-augusto-pozzuoli_1_original-2 has been closed due to a renovation project that seems to be eternal, with hundreds of millions spent already on the project.  This is the Rione Terra in Pozzuoli where this morning an International Conference will open in order to decide on the future, the theme being: “the Renaissance of the Cathedral to the enhancement of the Rione Terra.” From here we shall     start to launch the final idea to be presented in October at Lubec (Lucca, cultural heritage showcasing projects of renovations to Italian heritage) and find a management model that will see the Acropolis as a great attraction as well as all of Campi Flegrei.  But what is the Rione Terra? Is the Acropolis a crossroads of cultures and populations over millennia or possibly a pearl of history and identity is not yet lost? Reopened to the public 15 months ago one of its jewels was a long forgotten Christian Cathedral.    Which conceals from within its columns of a Roman temple dedicated to Augustus, discovered by chance after a disastrous fire in 1966.    Among the palaces and buildings you pass as you walk through the narrow ancient streets leads to magnificent vistas overlooking the Gulf. dsc_02781Under the mantle of cobblestones and lava, we have discovered an archaeological path of 10,000 square meters, which has fabulously preserved the traces of an ancient civilization and previewed recently in a visit by the speakers at the Conference, in a renewed media and sensory capacity.   A city layered in ash and closed by its inhabitants too early for future generations of tourists and historians.   The story of the modern age of Rione Terra depart from the disastrous earthquake of 1970, which led to the evacuation of the entire area and the exodus of the inhabitants moved to new residential areas. A mass escape: the whole area was expropriated and declared “inalienable heritage of the municipality”.  The complicated recovery restoration and enhancement began in 1993 with municipal resolutions approved 2002 and 2004, by the administration led by Mayor Vincenzo Figliolia.  The same person today who returned to the city322268_0_1 government in 2012, he is trying every way to complete jobs and fast tract times in an enhancement process. A race against time passing inexorably, while the yard still involves half of the fortress, with the specter of not flushing things out in an attempt to completing the project and avoid yet another white elephant.  In addition to establishment figures such as Vincenzo De Luca, president of the Campania Region and the Superintendent, Archaeological and Landscape, will present professional, business, culture and tourism industry operators and national and European stakeholders, all gathered in
dsc_02991order to discuss the modalities to speed up the process of assessment and feasibility. Without forgetting the already existing hypothesis as to project financing to build a tourist attraction to create widespread hotels with 32 buildings, 212 rooms, 58 shops and restaurants, the three museums and the convention center already existing.  All of which is potential economic boom for the city.

The conclusions will be entrusted as well as the mayor and Figliolia Antonia Pasqua Recchia, Secretary General of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage.

 

Kathy Kiefer

 

click on the image for slideshow: ⬇︎

 

 

A HISTORICAL LOOK INTO NAPLES

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Piazza-del-Plebiscito

 

A HISTORICAL LOOK INTO NAPLES

 

The main city square or piazza of the city is the Piazza del Plebiscito. Its construction was begun by the Bonapartist king Joachim Murat and finished by the Bourbon king Ferdinand IV. The piazza bounded on the east by the Royal Palace and on the west by the church of San Francesco di Paolo, with the colonnades extending on both sides. Nearby is the Teatro di San Carlo, which is the oldest opera house in Italy. Directly across from San Carlo is Galleria Umberto, a shopping centre and social hub.

Naples is well known for its historic castles: the ancient Castel Nuovo, also known as Maschio Angioino, is one of the city’s foremost landmarks; it was built during the time of Charles I, the first king of Naples. Castel Nuovo has seen many notable historical events: for example, in 1294, Pope Celestine V resigned as pope in a hall of the castle, and following this Pope Boniface VIII was elected pope by the cardinal collegium, before moving to Rome. The castle which Nuovo replaced in importance was the Norman-founded Castel dell’Ovo (“Egg Castle”), which was built on the tiny islet of Megarides, where the original Cumaean colonists had founded the city.

Another Neapolitan castle of note is Sant Elmo, which was completed in 1329 and is built in the shape of a star. During the uprising of Masaniello in 1647, the Spanish took refuge in Sant’Elmo to escape the revolutionaries. The Vigliena Fort, which was built in 1702, was destroyed in 1799 during the royalist war against the Parthenopean Republic, and is now abandoned and in ruin. The Carmine Castle, built in 1392 and highly modified in the 16th century by the Spanish, was demolished in 1906 to make room for the Via Marina, although two of the castle’s towers remain as a monument.

Naples is widely known for its wealth of historical museums. The Naples National Archaeological Museum is one of the city’s main museums, with one of the most extensive collections of artifacts of the Roman Empire in the world. It also houses many of the antiques unearthed at Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as some artifacts from the Greek and Renaissance periods.

Previously a Bourbon palace, now a museum and art gallery, the Museo di Capodimonte is another museum of note. The gallery features paintings from the 13th to the 18th centuries, including major works by Simone Martini, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, El Greco, Jusepe de Ribera and Luca Giordano. The royal apartments are furnished with antique 18th-century furniture and a collection of porcelain and majolica from the various royal residences: the famous Capodimonte Porcelain Factory once stood just adjacent to the palace.

In front of the Royal Palace of Napes stands the Galleria Umberto I, which contains the Coral Jewellery Museum. Occupying a 19th-century palazzo renovated by the Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza, the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna regina (MADRE) features an enfilade procession of permanent installations by artists such as Francescio Clemente, Richard Serra and Rebecca Horn. The 16th-century palace of Roccella hosts the Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, which contains the civic collections of art belonging to the City of Naples, and features temporary exhibits of art and culture. Palazzo Como, which dates from the 15th century, hosts the Museo Filangieri of plastic arts, created in 1883 by Gaetano Filangieri.

Naples is the seat of the Archdiocese of Naples, and Catholicism is highly important to the populace; there are hundreds of churches in the city. The Cathedral of Naples is the city’s premier place of worship; each year on the 19th of September, it hosts the longstanding Miracle of Saint Januarius, the city’s patron saint. During the miracle, which thousands of Neapolitans flock to witness, the dried blood of Januarius is said to turn to liquid when brought close to holy relics said to be of his body.

Aside from the Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples has two other major public squares: the Piazza Dante and the Piazza dei Martiri. The latter originally had only a memorial to religious martyrs, but in 1866, after the Italian unification four lions were added, representing the four rebellions against the Bourbons. The San Gennaro dei Poveri is a Renaissance-era hospital for the poor, erected by the Spanish in 1667. It was the forerunner of a much more ambitious project, the Bourbon Hospice for the Poor started by Charles III. This was for the destitute and ill of the city; it also provided a self-sufficient community where the poor would live and work. Though a notable landmark, it is no longer a functioning hospital.

Underneath Naples lies a series of caves and structures created by centuries of mining, and the city rests atop a major geothermal zone. There are also a number of ancient Greco-Roman reservoirs dug out from the soft tufo stone on which, and from which, much of the city is built. Approximately one kilometer (0.6 miles) of the many kilometers of tunnels under the city can be visited from the Napoli Sotteranea, situated in the historic centre of the city in Via dei Tribunali. There are also large catacombs in and around the city, and other landmarks such as the Piscina Mirabilis, the main cistern serving the Bay of Naples during Roman times. This system of tunnels and cisterns underlies most of the city and lies approximately 30 metres (98 ft) below ground level. During World War II, these tunnels were used as air-raid shelters, and there are inscriptions in the walls depicting the suffering endured by the refugees of that era.

Of the various public parks in Naples, the most prominent are the Villa Comunale, which was built by the Bourbon king Ferdinand IV in the 1780s; and the Bosco di Capodimonte, the city’s largest verdant space. Another important park is the Parco Virgiliano, which looks towards the tiny volcanic islet of Nisida; beyond Nisida lie Procida and Ischia. Parco Virgiliano was named after Virgil, the classical Roman poet who is thought to be entombed nearby. Naples is noted for its numerous stately villas, such as the Neoclassical Villa Floridiana, built in 1816.

In 1995, the historic centre of Naples was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, a United Nations programme which aims to catalogue and conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of mankind. The UNESCO evaluation committee described Naples’ centre as being “of exceptional value”, and went on to say that Naples’ setting on the Bay of Naples “gives it an outstanding universal value which has had a profound influence”.

The city is situated on the Gulf of Naples, on the western coast of Southern Italy; it rises from sea level to an elevation of 450 meters (1,480 ft). The small rivers which formerly crossed the center of the city have since been covered over by construction. It lies between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Campi Flegrei (Phlegraean Fields). The islands of Procida, Capri and Ischia can all be reached from Naples by hydrofoils and ferries. Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are situated south of the city, while the Roman ruins of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae, which were destroyed in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, are also visible nearby. The port towns of Pozzouli and Baia, which were part of the Roman naval facility of Port Julius, lie to the north of the city.

Naples has a Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The mild climate and fertility of the Gulf of Naples made the region famous during Roman times, when emperors such as Claudius and Tiberius holidayed near the city as of 2012, the population of the commune di Napoli totals around 960,000. Naples’ wider metropolitan area, sometimes known as Greater Naples, has a population of approximately 4.4 million. The demographic profile for the Neapolitan province in general is relatively young: 19% are under the age of 14, while 13% are over 65, compared to the national average of 14% and 19%, respectively. Naples has a higher percentage of females (52.5%) than males (47.5%). Naples currently has a higher birth rate than other parts of Italy, with 0.46 births per 1,000 inhabitants, compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.

Naples is noted for its numerous higher education institutes and research centres. Naples hosts what is thought to be the oldest state university in the world, in the form of the University of Naples Federico II, which was founded by Frederick II in 1224. The university is among the most prominent in Italy, with around 100,000 students and over 3,000 professors in 2007. It is host to the Botanical Garden of Naples, which was opened in 1807 by Giuseppe Bonaparte, using plans drawn up under the Bourbon king Ferdinand IV. The garden’s 15 hectares feature around 25,000 samples of vegetation, representing over 10,000 plant species. Another notable centre of education is the Instituto Universitario Orientale, which specialises in Eastern culture, and was founded by Jesuit missionary Matteo Ripa in 1732, after he returned from the court of Kangxi, the Emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty of China.   The San Pietro a Maiella music conservatory is the city’s foremost institution of musical education; the earliest Neapolitan music conservatories were founded in the 16th century under the Spanish.

The Academia du Belle Arti di Napoli located on the Via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli is the city’s foremost art school and one of the oldest in Italy. Naples hosts also the oldest marine zoological study station in the world, created in 1872 by German scientist Anton Dohrn, and the world’s oldest permanent volcano observatory, the Vesuvius Observatory, founded in 1841. The Observatory lies on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, near the city of Ercolano, and is now a permanent specialized institute of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics.

Each of the 8,101 commune in Italy is today represented locally by a city council headed by an elected mayor, known as a sindaco and informally called the first citizen (primo cittadino). This system or one very similar to it, has been in place since the invasion of Italy by Napoleonic forces in 1808. When the Kingdom of the Two Sicillies was restored, the system was kept in place with members of the nobility filling mayoral roles. By the end of the 19th century, party politics had begun to emerge; during the fascist era, each commune was represented by a podestà. Since World War II, the political landscape of Naples has been neither strongly right-wing nor left wing – both Christian democrats and democratic socialists have governed the city at different times, with roughly equal frequency. Currently, the mayor of Naples is Luigi de Mgisris of the IDV party; de Magistris has held the position since the 2011 elections.

Naples is Italy’s fourth-largest economy after Milan, Rome and Turin, and is the world’s 103rd largest urban economy by purchasing power. Naples is a major cargo terminal, and the port of Naples is one of the Mediterranean’s largest and busiest. The city has experienced significant economic growth since World War II, but joblessness remains a major problem, and the city is characterized by high levels of political corruption and organized crime.

Naples is a major national and international tourist destination, being one of Italy and Europe’s top tourist cities. Tourists began visiting Naples in the 18th century, during the Grand Tour. In terms of international arrivals, Naples was the 166th-most-visited city in the world in 2008, with 381,000 visitors (a 1.6% decrease from the previous year), coming after Lille, but overtaking York, Stuttgart, Belgrade and Dallas.

Naples has an extensive public transport network, including trams, buses, funiculars and trolley buses. Three public elevators are in operation in the city – one within the bridge of Chiaia, one in via Acton and one near the Sanità Bridge. The city furthermore operates the Naples Metro, an underground rapid transit railway system which integrates both surface railway lines and the city’s metro stations, many of which are noted for their decorative architecture and pubic art. Suburban rail services are provided by Trenitalia, Circumvesuviana, Ferrovia Cumana and Metronapoli.   The city’s main railway station is Napoli Centrale, which is located in Piazza Garibaldi; other significant stations include the Napoli Campi Flegrei and Napoli Mergellina. Naples’ streets are famously narrow (it was the first city in the world to set up a pedestrian one-way street), so the general public commonly use compact hatchback cars and scooters for personal transit. Since 2007, Naples has been connected to Rome by a high-speed railway run by Treno Alta Velocita, with trains running at almost 300 km/h (186 mph), reducing the journey time to under an hour.

The port of Naples runs several public ferry, hydrofoil and SWATH catamaran services, linking numerous locations in both the Neapolitan Provence, including Capri, Ischia and Sorrento as well as the Salernitan province, including Salerno, Positano and Amalfi. Services are also available to destinations further afield, such as Sicily, Sardinia, Ponza and the Aeolian Islands. The port serves over 6 million local passengers annually,] plus a further 1 million international cruise liner passengers. A regional hydrofoil transport service, the “Metropolitana del Mare”, runs annually from July to September, maintained by a consortium of shipowners and local administrations.

Kathy Kiefer

 

BACOLI

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BACOLI

Whoever is fond of sea, myth, history and nature will find Bacoli a great destination. The current city is fruit of the urban redevelopment that happened during second half of the XX century and, if you come and visit this lovely place, you will understand why stunning villas rich in marble and beautiful mosaics were built here. A unique experience accompanied with the intense scent of sea, tasty local dishes and authentic flavors.  A real emotion that becomes pleasure, tradition and beauty.

Situated on the very northern tip of the Bay of Naples, this small fishing village, despite its proximity to Naples and surrounding tourist hotspots, retains a rustic charm. It is also home to the Terme Stufe di Nerone, ancient thermal baths originally built by the romans. It feels like they’ve hardly been touched since then, avoiding major moderations that has touched so many other spa centres in the area.

The hypothermal waters at the spa centre emerge at a high 74°C making it ideal for skin renewal. Elsewhere 2 separate bathing pools cater for various needs, with temperatures from 38 to 58°C. A natural sauna, heated by the thermal waters, creates a perfect environment for curing respiratory problems and water replacement.

Bacoli has Roman origins; it was founded with the name of Bauli as holiday resort. Symmachus said about Bauli: “I left that place because there was the risk that if I got too fond of Bauli, I would not have liked all the other places that I still had to see”.

Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, Bacoli declined, too due to some geological phenomena such as bradyseism and erosions. The city revived throughout the centuries and little by little became a renowned tourist destination.

The commune of Bacoli is located to the south-west on the Gulf of Pozzuoli and is well-known for the ancient port, villas and spas of Baia, an imperial residence in Roman times. Today a fishermen’s borough, was a Roman town with the name of Bauli.

The area of ​​the municipality of Bacoli is of volcanic origin. It belongs to the system of Campi Flegrei and was formed last eruptive phase called “Third Period Flegreo”. In particular the area where there is the town is characterized by an array of seven volcanoes, arranged on a single axis, formed by craters and the remains of craters of three of the oldest volcanoes which date between 35,000 and 10,500 years ago: 1) Cape Miseno; 2) Port of Miseno (whose edges are recognizable residues long islet of Punta Pennata and in front of it in the two peaks of Punta Theron and Punta della Sarparella); 3) the prominence that characterizes the historical center of Bacoli, from Punta del Poggio and swimming Mirabile until Centocamerelle.

To the north, outside the town, a little ‘spaced from the previous but still on the same array, we have the other four volcanoes, the most recent, which date from between 10,500 and 8,000 years ago: 4) and 5) the two craters called Funds Bay (on the brink of one of which is placed the Aragonese Castle of Baia and goes up the road that leads from Pozzuoli to Bacoli); 6) the Gulf of Bay that has almost completely dismantled 7), another volcano whose edges and reliefs residues are recognized in Punta Epitaph and the rocky ridge of yellow tuff that looks toward Lucrino.

Bacoli was founded by the Romans who called it by the name of Trunks. In Roman times it was a popular resort almost as much as the nearby Bay. Symmachus told Trunks: “I left that place because there was a danger that if I had to stay too fond of Trunks, aII other places that I have left to do I would have liked”   (Symmachus).

Ancient trunks are preserved to this day the remains of the Hundred Chambers, the Piscina Mirabile, the so-called Tomb of Agrippina. Augustan age Bacoli actually became the main military outpost and capital elective politics, culture and social life along with the nearby Baiae.

Following the fall of the Roman Empire the city of Bacoli also declined due to some geological phenomena like bradyseism and erosions. In the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the city was reborn and became a favorite destination for Europeans.

The current town includes over today’s Bacoli, even the remains of trunks, the ancient Roman cities of Baia (whose remains extend to Fusaro), and still Miseno with the adjoining Miliscola (from militum choir) seat of the praetorian fleet of the Roman emperors, and finally even a small portion of the ancient Greek city of Cuma.

Baiae (today Baia) was a fashionable and luxurious coastal resort, especially towards the end of the period of the Roman Republic and throughout the Empire, even more popular than Pompeii, Naples, and Capri. Famous for its medicinal warm sulfur springs, purple oysters, and mild climate, it was an ideal retreat from the heat of Rome, and many prominent Romans had villas in the area. It was at his villa near Baiae that the Emperor Hadrian died in 138 AD.

Baiae was also the location for a spectacular stunt (in AD 37) by Caligula, who on becoming Emperor ordered a temporary floating bridge to be built using ships as pontoons, stretching for over two miles from the town of Baiae to the neighboring port of Puteoli (Pozzuoli), across which he proceeded to ride his horse, to challenge an astrologer’s prediction that he had “no more chance of becoming Emperor than of riding a horse across the Gulf of Baiae”.

Several very interesting places to explore and visit while in Bacoli include: (1) Agrippina’s Sepulchre , a Roman monument that traditionally was considered to be the tomb of Nero’s mother, but was most probably the “odeion” of a Villa; (2) Cento Camerelle, water cisterns belonging to a Roman Villa of the Republican times; (3) Piscina Mirabilis, among the biggest Roman water reservoir structures, could store 12,600 cubic meters, situated on a promontory facing Capo Miseno; and (4) Baia an archeological park including villas, spas and the Roman port.

If you are a fan of Roman history and make a trip to Bacoli, don’t miss the Piscina Mirabilis. It is not a very popular tourist spot, but since I am a history, anthropologic and architecture fanatic, it’s high on my places to visit. One of the largest cisterns built in the Augustan period; this is not your plain cistern to store rainwater. This was the termination point of Aqua Augusta, the massive Roman aqueduct which supplied water to many Roman cities in the Bay of Naples.

Since it is under private ownership now, you need to make an appointment by phone before you can explore this underground architectural marvel of Italy.

Kathy Kiefer

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INTRIGUING PARKS/SITES AROUND POZZUOLI

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INTRIGUING PARKS/SITES AROUND POZZUOLI

5a7865ed4253c2a2cfbaa3aaeae41192daf490Founded as the Greek Cumaean colony known as Dicaearchia, the bustling port town of Pozzuoli thrived during Roman times when it was known as Puteoli. Its name derives from the abundance of thermal and mineral springs as well sulfurous springs whose unmistakable odor permeated the area (and still does), mostly from the Solfatara. Whether it comes from the Latin putere – to stink or the Greek “Pyteolos” meaning “little wells” however, is unclear.

The Roman senator and writer Cicero owned a villa nearby. St. Paul docked at Pozzuoli and stayed for seven days before making the arduous journey to Rome along the Appian Way. A few centuries later, Naples Patron Saint, San Gennaro was martyred at the amphitheater in Pozzuoli, a scene depicted by the Baroque artist, Artemisia Gentileschi.

And of course, Sophia Loren lived in the vicinity with her grandmother when bombs rained down during World War II. Tragedy 42085311struck again in October of 1983 when an earthquake damaged thousands of structures and displaced nearly 40,000 residents.

Today, contemporary blends with the ancient world. Signs along Pozzuoli’s roads will point you to a number of Roman ruins. The Temple of Neptune overlooks the sea with its mammoth dome peeking out from the dirt. Other signs lead through a narrow tunnel and then along a road next to the Neocropoli Romana. Hidden behind overgrown weeds, the locals walk by this ancient cemetery as though the ghosts inside are simply amicable neighbors. Further up the hill is the Flavian Amphitheater and near the water’s edge, are the remains the old Roman marketplace, better known as the Temple of Serapis.

Like their Roman forebears, fishermen still work their nets in boats. They bring plastic buckets to the banks with all kinds of live fish, shellfish, and octopi. The port is brimful with seafood restaurants along with cafés and gelaterias. Pozzuoli is also where ferries depart to the islands of Ischia and Procida. Day trips to the islands are inexpensive and easy to take.

pozzuoli_634df1051f6e703857098f4d4a6b46aaSome of the attractions that can be found in Pozzouli and in the surrounding area include:   (1) The Macellum of Pozzuoli, also known as the Temple of Serapis or serapeum, is considered the city’s symbol. The “temple” was actually a marketplace. Its name derives from the misinterpretation of its function after a statue of the god Serapis was found in 1750 at this location. The Macellum includes three majestic columns in cipolin marble, which show erosion from marine Lithophaga mollusks when, at an earlier time, the ground level was much lower due to Bradyseism, and sea-water could flow in; (2) Flavian Amphitheater – the third largest Italian amphitheater after the Colosseum and the Capuan Amphitheater; (3) Solfatara (volcanic crater with active fumaroles); (4) Forum; (5) Minor Amphitheater, very near to the Flavian one, its remains were absorbed by other buildings, but some arches can be seen by Via Solfatara and Via Vigna. It is crossed by metropolitan railway and the arena is still buried; (6) Puteoli’s Baths, so called Temple of Neptune, the remains of a big thermal complex now in Corso Terracciano which included also “Dianaepozzuoli-Sotterranei-Anfiteatro-Flavio Nymphaeum”, this last one partly hidden by buildings; (7) Villa Avellino, one of the few urban parks of Pozzuoli. It also shows several Roman ruins and water tanks. There is also a still working Roman “face” water fountain; (8) Rione Terra, the first settlement of Puteoli, originally Dicearkia in Greek. It’s a multi layered city with several Roman buildings, the most important one is the Temple of Augustus (today the Pozzuoli’s Duomo); (9) Necropolis of the Via Puteolis Capuam, just under the bridge that leads outside the city near Via Solfatara; (10) Necropolis of Via San Vito, near to Quarto; (11) Necropolis of Via Celle, a rich complex of tombs and mausoleums, very near to an old Roman street track still used today (Via Cupa Cigliano); (12) Stadium of Antoninus Pius, a very similar stadium to the Domitian one in Rome, only partially unburied and partly collapsed (Via Campi Flegrei); (13) Sanctuary of San Gennaro. With the Cathedra of Naples, it is one of the two places in which Lo Stadiothe alleged miracle of the liquefaction of the saint’s blood occurs; (14) Lake Avernus, in which Virgil, in the 6th book of Aeneid, placed the entrance to Hell. The name derives from the Greek, and means “Without Birds”, referring to the absence of birds due to the sulfur gas that sprung from it. Nearby are the Temple of Apollo, the Grotto of the Cumaean Sibyl and Cocceius’ Grotto, a gallery carved by the Romans to connect Lucrino to Cumae. The latter was damaged during World War II and is no longer visitable; and (15) Lake Lucrino, in the frazione of the same name. The lake was considered an infernal place, due to volcanic phenomena. It was a renowned resort in Roman times and included the villa of Cicero, which later held the remains of Emperor Hadrian. Pliny the Elder cites it in Naturalis historia (ix, 25) as the home
of a dolphin who had made friends with a child. According to Pliny, when the child fell ill and died, the dolphin died of broken252208_390351761053447_1883647398_n_672-458_resize heart also. The tale is considered the first known Urban Legend.

Pozzuoli’s city dwellers often say that in this town, if you only move a stone, you’ll find antiques that only wait to be discovered. Actually that’s how the Antonino Pio stadium was found. It was opened to the visitors in October 2008 after 2000 years. This archaeological site was covered from soil and scrubs. The emperor Antonino Pio wanted this stadium to be built because he wanted to organize Olympic Games in Pozzuoli, in the same town where his predecessor was buried. These Olympic Games, called “Eusebia” took place in this stadium, which is 300 meters long and 70 meters wide. The structure previsioned two entrances: one to the spectators and one to the athletes, and like all the Roman constructions dedicated to the games, the Antonino Pio stadium was divided into three parts, one for every social class of the Roman society.

During the centuries the Stadium was altered and its use has been sometimes partial and sometimes different from its original purpose. After the eruption of the Monte Nuovo the site was completely covered by debris. Nowadays this Stadium it’s divided in two parts because in the middle of it was built the highway Domitiana in 1932, which cut it without any respect,

immagine6The Monte Nuovo is the youngest volcano of Europe; he rose during the eruption of 1538. Its birth is an incredible story: sources of that time tell that this mountain was born in only two days. The 28 September 1538 the sea receded by almost 400 meters, leaving on the sand a lot of fishes, the population thought about a divine benediction. But in 24 hours the same divinity unleashed the apocalypse. The ground ripped and swallowed up the medieval city of Tripergola, fishing out lava, stones and incandescent muds. The quantity material that was sweated out from the bowels of the earth was so much that the surroundings were enveloped in a sort of big cloud that took two days to dissolve.  These days the youngest volcano of Europe is inactive, and at its mountainside there’s thick vegetation.

The acropolis of Cuma is all that remains of the ancient city settled by the ancient Greeks around 740 BC. The archaeological antro_della_sibilla_cumapark presents years of history perfectly conserved and it’s a precious testify of how the city was organized. The history of Cuma is about a very powerful city, which knew how to connect maritime activities to the country work. Cuma succeeded in resisting other populations’ attacks more than Pozzuoli, because it was in a privileged position: it was higher than Pozzuoli and it was a fortified city. In the Acropolis of Cuma there’s the Sybil’s cavern, a suggestive and mystic place where Aeneas went to meet the prophetess. The Sybil was a priestess of the god Apollo who wrote her prophecies on the leaves that the wind brought into the long stone corridor that arrived into the priestess room. The legend tells that the god Apollo gave her the possibility to fulfil a IMG_1540wish in exchange of her devotion as a priestess. The Sybil asked to live so many years as so many grains of sand her hand could contain, but she forgot to ask the eternal youth, so her body inexorably aged, up to be consumed completely. In the cavern remained only her voice. According to Virgil the Sybil predicted the future to Aeneas and drove him to the Averno Lake to make him enter into the Hell to look for his father.lago-d-averno-1

The Averno Lake it’s the entrance of the hell, as Virgil tell us in the beginning of his masterpiece the Eneide. The identification of this lake as the main door of the hell is due to its origins: The Averno Lake is in the mouth of an inactive volcano: in the past, thanks to the volcanic exhalations, the birds which flew over the lake died instantaneously. That’s why the ancient Romans used to call it “Aornon”, which means “place without birds”. Therefore it’s easy to understand why Virgil thought it was a demoniac place, point of connection between the land of the living and of the dead. Nowadays the Averno Lake has a beautiful appearance with a charming lakeside, where a lot of people go jogging or just take a walk. Near the lake there’s Sybil’s cave.  The legend tells that this cave it’s linked with the Sybil’s cavern in Cuma. This cave was actually dug into the turf to allow the passage of the military which arrived with their boats in Portus Julius.

Kathy Kiefer