Within a circle we wanted to preserve a history suspended between past, present and future.
The Rione Terra was the first inhabited nucleus of the city of Pozzuoli. The fortress is built on a 33 meters high tufaceous spur, surrounded by the sea on three sides. Over the centuries, it has been the scene of historical and natural events which have also caused important changes in the morphology of the Phlegraean Fields (Campi Flegrei). Despite this, it has always been inhabited, preserving the memory of the centuries. Puteoli was a rich merchant city and the Rione Terra was its acropolis. For centuries its coast has been the center of commercial traffic in the Mediterranean Sea, thanks to its strategic position. It was the port of Rome, a primacy that it maintained until the construction of that of Ostia and, in any case, until the end of the Western Roman Empire, which occurred in 476 AD.
The shores of Pozzuoli welcomed ships from every country: “litora mundi hospita“, as defined by Stazio. The best products and most expensive goods that the Eastern Mediterranean Countries imported from India and China flowed in, as well as rare marbles, exotic fruits, slaves and beasts for the amphitheaters. As attested by the epigraphic documentation, traders from all parts of the Empire came to Puteoli, and they had their “stationes” or agencies in the city. The port and the quays had intense and feverish working life and many wealthy people crowded them., Not only the most varied goods but also ideas, traditions and religious beliefs came to Puteoli from the East. People of various races, of the most diverse idioms, customs, beliefs and the most disparate cults met there. Saint Paul also landed there in 61 d. C., on the way to Rome.
In the second century BC, it was defined by Fèsto as “Delus minor“, for the extraordinary abundance of its trades, and at the time of Augustus it became, according to Cicero, a “parva Roma” for the magnificence and elegance of its buildings.
Thus, we could only preserve this story among laurel twigs, a noble plant for excellence in Ancient Rome. Many poets and men of culture, whose heads were surrounded with laurel branches, chose this land as their home. We will tell you about this glorious past, starting from the Archaeological Path of the Rione Terra di Pozzuoli, where the Roman city unwinds in the belly of that of the seventeenth century.