For the first two weeks that Campania changed into a yellow zone there were a few places like museums and archeological sites that offered free admission! Typically admission prices are relatively cheap here, except maybe for the more famous ones like Pompeii, but the price can quickly get out of hand because there are SO many sites in Italy! We discovered a perfect afternoon trip located only 20 minutes from us! It’s the second largest amphitheater, following the Colosseum in Rome, and the site of the first gladiator school!! We were literally the only people visiting with basically free range to explore the archaeological sites’ many levels, including the underground tunnels where actors, gladiators, & wild animals were kept!!
— Amphitheater Campano —
— Benvenuti all’Anfiteatro Campano —
Located in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, the Capua amphitheater is thought to have been built at the end of the 1st century AD. “This place has a very important place in the traditional culture and the collective imagination. Because it is from here that the Spartacus gladiator, in 73 BC, triggered the revolt that held Rome in check more than two years, upsetting its political life, and ending with the establishment of the first triumvirate. Much of its stones were used in Norman times to build the Castello delle Pietre in the new city of Capua. The exterior had 4 levels with a total height of 46 meters. Each floor was Tuscan style. The three lower floors each had 80 arches of travertine, with keystones decorated with busts of gods… The floor of the arena was wooden covered with sand. Corridors occupied the basement; still very well preserved. On the site, to the east is a rectangular cistern, which was connected to the amphitheater by a pipe, allowing the cleaning of undergrounds. A chapel was raised in the 5th-6th centuries to the second west entrance to the north. The amphitheater was destroyed in 456 AD by the pillage of Genseric, but repaired in 530.” [naples-napoli.org] The structure with its eliptical plan and four superimposed levels could seat up to 60,000 people. Wild animals and men would surprise the audience in the cavea by entering from trap doors in the arenas using a mechanism similar to modern day-day lifts.
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!