Capua Amphitheater

June 25, 2009 / Art & Archaeology
S.Maria Capua Vetere
capua11Italian schoolchildren learn that the “fleshpots of Capua” defeated Hannibal because the opulent lifestyle in the city made the Carthaginians soft. The affluent Capuans left behind an amphitheater that today is the second largest in Italy next to the Roman Coliseum.

capua21The amphitheater once held up to 60,000 spectators and admitted both men and women for free, making the games extremely popular. The famed Spartacus first distinguished himself here and Capua boasted the best gladiator schools.

The visitor can roam the field, the vaulted corridors, and the underground tunnels that stored elaborate stage machinery and exotic caged animals. The Gladiator museum pays tribute to those who fought… and to those who died here.

Secret tip: At the entrance gate, ask to see the underground Mithraeum (Temple of Mithras) too. Someone will fetch the key and open up for you.


by Barbara Zaragoza

Barbara is author of several books, including “The Espresso Break: Tours and Nooks of Naples, Italy and Beyond” available on in print as well as Kindle versions.

Bonnie Alberts, Penny Ewles-Bergeron and Barbara have teamed up to create a new Naples travel guide, the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples. See all their articles at or order the book at

2 Responses to “Capua Amphitheater”

  1. Salina

    Loved this and then read all of your blog, Barbara. I cannot find your brief biography listed in “Contributors”, however. (I lived up above the Solfatera for a couple of years, loved going to the fish market, loved the people, the pizza, and the gelato. I miss Pozzuoli and Italy very much).


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