Rione Terra

Bay of Naples

Rione Terra is Pozzuoli's oldest quarter and its ancient acropolis. The original 2nd-century-BC temple to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva was replaced by a temple to Augustus in the 1st century. The latter's marble columns now form part of the 17th-century Duomo, home to 13 paintings by 17th-century greats including Artemisia Gentileschi, Giovanni Lanfranco and Jusepe De Ribera. Below the current cluster of buildings is a trove of an ancient ruins.

Dating back to when Pozzuoli was the ancient port of Puteoli, the ruins include the decumanus maximus (main street), flanked by ancient taverns, millers' shops (complete with intact grindstones) and graffiti written by the poet Catallus in a slaves' cell. Archaeologists made the startling find after volcanic activity in the 1970s forced a mass evacuation of the quarter.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bay of Naples attractions

1. Tempio di Serapide

0.34 MILES

Just east of the port, sunken in a leafy piazza, sits the Tempio di Serapide, which can be viewed from the street but not visited. Despite its name, it…

2. Anfiteatro Flavio

0.38 MILES

Back in its ancient heyday, Italy's third-largest amphitheatre – desired by Nero, and completed by Vespasian from AD 69 to 79 – could hold over 20,000…

3. Mercato Ittico


Down by the port, Pozzuoli's atmospheric fish market is just the spot for an appetising morning stroll. Good weather brings in the best catches, with…

4. Solfatara Crater


Some 2km up Via Rosini, which becomes Via Solfatara (about 900m north of the metro), the surreal Solfatara crater was known to the Romans as the Forum…

5. Monte Nuovo

1.94 MILES

At 8pm on 29 September 1538, a crack appeared in the earth near the ancient Roman settlement of Tripergole, violently spewing out a concoction of pumice,…

6. Spiaggia del Castello

2.16 MILES

Right below the Castello di Baia sits the wonderful Castle Beach. A sandy double-sided affair, it's only accessible by boat (adult/child return from €3/1…

7. Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei

2.25 MILES

This usually crowd-free museum occupies the commanding Castello di Baia, built in the late 15th century by the Aragonese as a defence against possible…

8. Lago d'Averno

2.67 MILES

In Virgil's Aeneid, it is from Lago d'Averno that Aeneas descends into the underworld. It's hard to imagine hell in such a bucolic setting, where old…