Cumae Archaeological Park | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Cumae Archaeological Park

Pozzuoli, Campania, Italy

Peta Stamper

12 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Cumae Archaeological Park

Cumae Archaeological Park in Pozzuoli houses a series of ancient ruins and artefacts and is thought to have been inhabited as far back as the Iron Age. Cumae was the first ancient Greek colony on mainland Italy, coon growing in size and wealth under the Romans.

Today, the remains of Cumae lie near the modern village of Cuma and the archaeological museum of Campi Flegri in the old Aragonese Castle contains many findings from excavations at Cumae.

Cumae Archaeological Park history

Cumae itself was a settlement established by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC. Sacked by the Oscans in the 5th century BC and incorporated into the Roman Empire in the 4th century, Cumae’s sites are mostly Roman but there are several Greek ones as well.

The most celebrated site at Cumae Archaeological Park is Sybil’s Cave or ‘Antro della Sibilla’. This atmospheric cave was built in two phases: the first in the 4th century BC, the second in the late 1st century BC or early AD.

Named after the Cumaean priestess who, according to Virgil’s Aeneid, is said to have prophesied to the Trojan Aeneas prior to his entry into the underworld, the exact purpose of Sybil’s Cave is yet to be decided upon.

The cave was most likely a defensive structure, also serving as a Christian burial site. Whatever its original use, this atmospheric trapezoidal tunnel is fascinating.

Cumae Archaeological Park today

Beyond the famous Cave of Sibyl, other sites at Cumae Archaeological Park that visitors can today see from the Acropolis include the 5th century acropolis walls, a 2nd century BC amphitheatre, a forum, several temples such as the Temples of Jupiter and Apollo, and a 2nd century AD public baths complex. The impressive archaeological park is open every day between 9am and 6.20pm.

Getting to Cumae Archaeological Park

Just north along the coast of Naples, Cuma is easily found by driving – 35 minutes from Naples along the A56. Alternately, the number 5 train from Montesanto stops at Licola, a 40 minute walk or 5 minute drive to the archeological park.

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