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Pozzuoli, Campania, Italy. January 2013; February 2019.

The city of Sophia Loren's childhood, Pozzuoli was founded as Dicaearchia by the Greeks from Samos around 530 B.C. It was renamed Puteoli (Little Wells in Latin) by the Romans, who turned it into a major port. St. Paul is said to have landed here in A.D. 61 on his way to Rome.

Pozzuoli lies in Campi Flegri (known as Phlegraean Fields (EN: Fiery Fields) in ancient times), one of the world's most geologically unstable regions which contains craters, lakes, hot springs and fumaroles. The place was mythologized by Homer as the entrance to Hades, and was the inspiration for Virgil's description of the underworld in the Aeneid.

Solfatara Crater was known to the Romans as the Forum Vulcani (home of the god of fire, Vulcan). It houses a mud lake at 160 degree Celsius, as well as two brick sweat rooms that reach temperatures up to 90 degrees Celsius that were excavated from ancient grottoes at the end of the 19th century. Sulphur fumes air a pungent odor around the fumaroles.

Sources: Eyewitness Naples and the Amalfi Coast (2013), Lonely Planet Southern Italy (2012), Rough Guide to Italy (2005).

Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory Detail:Italy