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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Trip to Italy, Part II: Pozzuoli



Pozzuoli began as the Greek colony of Dicaearchia (Greek: Δικαιαρχία). The Roman colony was established in 194 BC, and took the name Puteoli from the Latin putere (to stink), referring to the sulfuric smell in the area, most notably from Solfatara. This is because Pozzuoli lies in the center of the Campi Flegrei.
From August 1982 to December 1984 the city experienced hundreds of tremors and bradyseismic activity which reached a peak on October 4, 1983 damaging 8,000 buildings in the city center and dislocating 36,000 people, many permanently. The events raised the sea bottom by almost 2 m, and rendered the Bay of Pozzuoli too shallow for large craft.
source: en.wikipedia.org


I arrived to Pozzuoli after a 45’ train ride from Napoli and at the first sight, the whole area surrounding Napoli came as a surprise. I never imagined that it looks like that. I didn’t know that it very much resembles to other places I travelled to. It has an interesting, unique combination reflecting the traces of the Roman Empire, Old Greeks and Arabic influences... From the train station we walked about 7’ to our accommodation place on the road leading to the town centre. Being Sunday evening, many people were out in the streets for walks so we could catch a bit of the local atmosphere: relaxed, familiar, warm.
On the next day we preferred to stay in Pozzuoli and discover it. It was about 40C and my first shock was the visual contact with bags of garbage left at street corners or in front of houses gates. The garbage bags were filled with food rests especially raw meat and I couldn’t understand why people have such gorgeous houses but trash in front of them. Two days later I understood how it works when “by magic”, in the morning, everything was cleaned up by a specialized company.

The town is small and charming! The people are very friendly and open to tourists. We put that on the fact that there is a pretty low touristic rate and the locals are not fed up or bothered by strangers. It felt like we are somehow privileged to be welcomed in a nice community! A very nice aspect: nobody was staring at us/me and it feels like a blessing after having too much of it in Austria or Romania :)

A Side of the Harbour

I heard many stories about not being wise to say in Italy that I am Romanian. But I took the “risk” and surprisingly, the people in Pozzuoli were happy to hear that! Especially that we could better communicate in our languages.

One day I went to a near-by cosmetic salon and it was a real pleasure to chat with the local women. They were so funny and open hearted!

The Street with the Local Supermarket and Omnia Beauty Center
Shopping Streets Behind the Harbour

Pozzuoli doesn't have any beach but we were happy to discover La Fenice Beach Club from Torregaveta, a village near Pozzuoli. For us, the only way to reach Torregavetta it was by train: a real challenge as I've never seen before such filthy trains:



The sleazy train ride was worth it:


One of Pozzuoli's jewels: The FOOD!

Pizza alla Campagna

Pizza was so delicious but after having it almost every day, I switched one dinner for fish:

Take Away Fish for Two: 30€

The pizza will remain my favourite: tasty & inexpensive (2.5€ for a Margerita, 4.5€ for a Veggie)

View from Villa Avellino Park

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