Cuma Archaeological Park

There are still many things that we haven’t discovered in the town we lived in before while being stationed on base (mainly thanks to covid and restrictions). Still wanting to get out but not do any huge trips, we now thought we’d get out and start discovering some of the history near our new town. The city of Cuma, near Pozzuoli, is the oldest Greek colony in Europe. The Archaeological Park of Cuma includes the famous “Antro della Sibilla,” one of the most fascinating and mysterious places in Campania. There are also the great temples of Apollo and Jupiter, transformed into churches in the Middle Ages; they preserve Greek, Samnite, Roman, and Paleo-christian testimonies.

The Archaeological Park of Cuma is near Naples, in the Campi Flegrei area. It includes the ancient city of Cuma, a colony of Magna Graecia… You can admire the Greek walls of the late fifth century B.C., with subsequent rebuilding of the Samnite and Roman periods. Inside the urban area are the remains of the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Jupiter, the Roman Crypt, an immense spa building of the Imperial Age, the Amphitheater and the Forum. There are also numerous sepulchers of Greek and Roman citizens. The archaeological site of Cuma is also famous for “Antro della Sibilla,”one of the most known and consulted oracles of the world, whose predictions are remembered by Virgil in some verses of the Aeneid. The Sibilla cave is about 5 meters high and over 130 meters long. It was discovered in 1932. It is a straight tunnel, in tuff. Along the way there are several limbs on both sides: some are for lighting and ventilation, others were used in Roman times as cisterns and then by Christians as a burial place. It is considered the place where Sibilla Cumana celebrated the rite of prophecies.

The legend: the Sibyl was a young woman of whom Apollo was madly in love, so he offered to fulfill every wish of hers. The Sibyl asked him to live many years, how many grains of sand she could hold in her hand, forgetting to specify “without getting old ever.” In this way she became so old that she no longer wanted to be seen by anyone. As she grew older, her body became small and worn, so that she was placed in a little cage in the temple of Apollo until the body disappeared and only her voice remained. Despite this, her prophecies continued for centuries and her predictions were transcribed on palm leaves, that mixed by the winds that blew from the hundred openings of the cave, made her prophecies “sibylline” (in Italian language, “sibilo” means “whistle”).


Lindsay View All →

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!

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