Naples- The Phlegrean Fields

The Phlegrean Fields, meaning burning fields, comprise an area of numerous fumaroles, hot springs and Solfatara. The bays and the volcanic hills form a beautiful steaming coastal landscape.

The Phlegrean Fields (Campi Flegrei = burning fields) include a volcanic territory where in the recent 39 000 years numerous volcanoes were active. Relatively late people understood that the Phlegrean Field is a caldera by a diameter of 15 x 12 kilometers. The Phlegrean Fields are located in the Gulf of Pozzuoli and are just 4 km away from downtown Naples.

For the first time the fields were mentioned in the Aeneid by the Roman poet Virgil. Its name is derived from the Greek phlegraios, which means burning or glowing fields. The soil of the fields can be according to the volcanic activity extremely hot. Thus e.g. soar steams and sulfur gases of more than 100°C rise from the half-extinguished volcano Solfatara. In addition to the Solfatara, there are numerous hot springs and fumaroles, which the Greeks considered an entrance to the underworld.

The landscape is characterized mainly by the rising sulfur steams that color the rocks yellow. Today, they still evaporate but not everywhere. They are still reminiscent of volcanoes, crater lakes as well as hot steam vents and boiling mud holes of the Solfatara.

Pozzuoli, founded by the Greeks, got under the dominion of the Romans to one of the most important port cities in the Gulf. The most impressive building in the town is the Amphitheater Flavio (constructed in 79 BC). Its underground vault points out the glory days of the audacious gladiators.