The Port of Pozzuoli


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THE WHARF (called Caligoliano)

Of the ancient wharf of Puteoli, one of the most imposing architectonic realizations of the ancient times, today it survives nothing more, as the few structures still visible at the beginning of the century have been covered by the modern wharf. Anyway it is possible to reconstruct its original aspect on the base of the ancient representations (small vitreous flasks, drawing by Bellori), as well as of numerous drawings and engravings realized in the course of the centuries.

Pozzuoli - Porto - Il molo

The modern wharf which covers the ancient "Caligoliano" one

The wharf, 372 metres long and 15-16 metres large, ran over a series of arcades resting on 15 rectangular pillars (pilae), about 5-6 metres thick. Aim of the arcades was to attenuate the impact of the breakers and to facilitate the reflux of the water from the port, avoiding its silting up.

A slight curvature allowed a bigger resistance to the power of the winds and of the sea-storms. At the extremities of the wharf there were two triumphal arches; the first one, next to the dry land, was surmounted with a group of tritons, while on the second one it was pictured Neptune's quadriga hauled by hippocampi; between the arches they raised two high honorary columns with the statues of the Dioscuri, protective deities of the sailors.

The wharf, celebrated by various poets and ancient writers, was built in the first Imperial age. It was included in a long series of shipping installations (the bank of Pozzuoli) which, from the system of quays and landing-places of the emporium, continued towards the Portus Julius.

An inscription attests that, because of the damage caused by a violent storm, the emperor Adriano ordered an important restoration of it, then executed in 139 A.D. by his successor Antonino Pio.

Another restoration effected in 394 A.D. of the port plants located in proximity to the macellum, and also attested by epigraphs, demonstrates that at the end of the IV century the port was still in full activity; anyway, not many years later, the decline of the trading activities of Puteoli and the getting worse of the bradyseismic movements determined the progressive degradation of the bank and the abandon of the wharf, soon covered by water.

Extracted from "I campi Flegrei" un itinerario archeologico Marsilio Editori - page 122


How to reach the Port of Pozzuoli

 

 

 

 

Road network:

from Naples (highways)

Enter the Tangenziale of Naples direction Pozzuoli. Exit n. 12 Pozzuoli - Via Campana. Pass the roundabout, turn right entering Via Campana direction Pozzuoli. At the cross road of Via Capomazza follow the roundabout and turn right going down along the street which takes to the port.

from Naples (downtown - main station of piazza Garibaldi)

Direction Porto - Piazza Municipio. Continue for Mergellina and Fuorigrotta. Here it is possible to enter the Tangenziale direction Pozzuoli, or to go on for via Domiziana as far as passing the centre of Pozzuoli (direction Roma - via Domiziana). At the cross road of Via Capomazza follow the roundabout and turn right going down along the street which takes to the port.

from Rome to Naples - via Domiziana   

Continue for Baia Domizia, Mondragone, Castel Volturno. Then cover the freeway SS. n 7 Quater which takes on the Tangenziale of Naples (Exit Pozzuoli - Arco Felice), or cover via Domiziana (SS. n 7 Quater). Follow indications for Napoli, Pozzuoli. Arrived at the cross road of Via Capomazza follow the roundabout and turn right going down along the street which takes to the port.