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Arena floor and seating.

The Flavian Amphitheater (Anfiteatro flaviano puteolano), located in Pozzuolimarker, is the third largest Roman amphitheater in Italymarker. Only the Roman Colosseummarker and the Capuan Amphitheater are larger. It was likely built by the same architects who previously constructed the Roman Colosseum. The name Flavian Amphitheater is primarily associated with the Roman Colosseum.


Entrance to arena from below
It was begun under the reign of the emperor Vespasian and probably finished under the reign of his son Titus. The arena can hold up to 20,000 spectators. The interior is mostly intact and one can still see parts of gears which were used to lift cages up to the arena floor.

In the year 305, the arena was the setting for the persecutions of the patron of Pozzuoli, Saint Proculus, and the patron saint of Naples, Saint Januarius. After being thrown to the wild beasts in the arena, the two were beheaded at the nearby Solfataramarker.

The elliptical structure measures 147 x 117 meters (482 x 384 feet), with the arena floor measuring 72.22 x 42.33 meters (237 x 139 feet).

The amphitheater can be visited by taking line number 2 of the Naples, Italymarker subway, and getting off at the Pozzuoli stop.

The Flavian Amphitheater is the second of two Roman amphitheaters built in Pozzuoli. The smaller and older amphitheater (Anfiteatro minore) has been almost totally destroyed by the construction of the Rome to Naples railway line. Only a dozen arches of this earlier work still exist. This lesser amphitheater measured 130 x 95 meters (427 x 312 feet).

The site of the structure was chosen at the nearby crossing of roads from Naplesmarker, Capuamarker and Cumaemarker. It was abandoned when it was partially buried by eruptions from the Solfatara volcano. It was during the mediaeval period that the marble used on the exterior was stripped. This had the fortunate result of leaving the interior alone and perfectly preserved. Excavations of the site were performed 1839 to 1845, 1880 to 1882, and finally in 1947.



Under the arches in Pozzuoli's Flavian Amphitheater
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  • Sirpettino, Mario. I campi flegrei. Guida storica, Naples : Edizioni scientifiche italiane, 1999. (OCLC )
  • Puteoli. Studi di storia antica, vols.I-II, Pozzuoli : Azienda autonoma di soggiorno, cura e turismo di Pozzuoli, 1977-1978. (OCLC )
  • I Campi Flegrei. Un itinerario archeologico. Venice : Marsilio, 1990. (OCLC )

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