Archaeological Museum of Campi Flegrei in the Aragonese castle
The Archaeological Museum of Campi Flegrei, which opened in 1993, is housed inside a fortress dating back to the Aragonese period, which has been specially restored and adapted to ful l its new role as an exhibition venue. It stands on the top of the high promontory that to the south closes to the gulf of Baia, and from which the entire bay of Pozzuoli and the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida are visible.
The museum displays unique archaeological finds of extraordinary value from the Campi Flegrei, an area whose fame, associated with the pleasantness of its places and the health-giving properties of its thermal springs and climate, has been celebrated and handed down since the ancient sources.
In its splendid landscape setting, which can be admired from the Aragonese fortress, the museum reconstitutes dispersed contexts of Flegrean origin, thus reuniting objects found long ago that up until now have been kept in storage at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, with objects discovered in recent excavations, following a logical exhibition layout organised by topography and by theme.
The tour begins with the Cuma Section on the second oor, housed in the former barrack- rooms used by the fortress soldiers: twenty-four rooms illustrate the history of the site from the 9th century B.C. Opican settlement to the 8th – 5th century B.C. Greek city (with its topography: walls, streets, sanctuaries, necropolises), to the 4th century B.C. Samnite city (with the exhibition in room no. 12 of a very rare frieze of painted metopes and triglyphs from a temple building), to the Roman city (with the exhibition of sculptural and architectural from public buildings in the forum), to the nal phase of occupation in the Byzantine period.
The Pozzuoli Section, which consists of twenty rooms on the rst oor, illustrates the history of the site: the rst urban expansion of the Augustan colony (buildings for theatrical spectacles, aqueduct, the cosmopolitan city with the reconstruction of the Grotta del Wady Minahy in the Egyptian desert), the Neronian colony and the new urban conformation imposed by the emperors, the late-ancient revival, the suburbanvillas and the necropolises.
The Rione Terra Section on the Piazza d’Arme exhibits hands made in recent excavations relating to the architectural decoration of the Capitolium and the sculpted decoration of other public buildings in the Augustan forum: ideal statues, including the head of Athena Lemnia, a series of portraits of Julio-Claudian age and fragments of statues of car yatids and clipei, reminiscent of the attic in the forum of Augustus in Rome, which has been reconstructed as it might have looked. This site is included in the circuit Campania Artecard.