Escape from the cruise crowds and explore the Phlegrean Fields, known as Campi Flegrei in Italian. Your private driver would take you to the archeological sites of Cuma, Baia, and Pozzuoli. Your day will be full of surprises at this ancient volcanic regional park area!
You will be met by your private driver outside your Naples cruise port. From there, you will travel west through the countryside to the edge of the Phlegraean Fields, a volcanically active area and declared a regional park in 2003. Please note entrance fee is not included in the price, the cost is 4 Euros per person for all the sites. This large volcanic area actually mostly lies underwater. The part visible consists of 24 craters and volcanic edifices. There is a hydrothermal activity in many areas where steam is visible rising from the ground. The first recorded eruption in the field dates back some 40,000 years. This eruption is said to have caused such catastrophic climate changes that the last Neanderthal population was wiped out.
Your first stop will be Cuma or Cumae, first settled by the Greeks in the 8th century. With 2 full hours to explore the ruins on your own, be sure to visit some of the temples built in honor of various gods and goddesses, the Acropolis, and the sanctuary of Sibyl. The Cumaean Sibyl was a prophetess of the Roman god, Apollo. She is said to have written her oracles at the trapezoidal-shaped shaft known as the Antro della Sibilla. You should also visit the remains of the Temple of Apollo and the Temple of Jupiter while there.
Next, you will head to the ancient town of Baia (also known as Baiae). It is recorded that the city was named after Baius, the helmsman of Odysseus's ship in Homer's Odyssey. You will have a quick stop at Baia Castle. This amazing structure served not only as a fortress but as a diplomatic, cultural, and even penal site. After your quick photo stop at the castle, you will continue to the archeological site. In its heyday dating back to 100 BC, Baia was a prominent resort city for centuries and catered to the super-rich and powerful among the Roman elite and sometimes scandalous visitors including Emperor Caligula. Julius Cesar owned a massive villa in Baia. It was famous for its healing medicinal hot springs. Monday to Friday, you will have 1 hour to explore the site; Saturdays and Sundays only, you can choose to do a boat excursion over the underwater ruins (price is included in the admission charge).
As you continue your route, you will arrive in Pozzuoli where you will have one hour of free time to eat lunch and look around. Founded in 529 BC by Samnite tribes, Pozzuoli didn't become a city until the Romans took over in 338 BC. The city held two amphitheaters, many temples, housing blocks, a forum, and a necropolis. You will be able to explore the Flavian Amphitheater, the third-largest Roman amphitheater in Italy where you can gain a deeper understanding of the Roman spectacle and gladiators. The city is said to get its name from the Latin word, "puteo" meaning putrid from the sulfur smell from nearby Solfatara, your next stop.
Solfatara is a dormant volcano site and is said to be the home of the Roman mythology god, Volcan. The area is riddled with bubbling mud pools and fumaroles, geysers of sulfurous steam which can be very stinky.
After your visit to Solfatara, your driver would return you safely to your Naples cruise pier and conclude this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Note: The order of the itinerary might change depending on traffic and weather conditions.
With this Private full day to Phlegrean Fields, you will explore the archeological sites of Cuma, Baia, and Pozzuoli. Visit Solfatara crater and more. See this amazing ancient volcanic field area!