Cuma Archaeological Park at Cuma, west of Naples in the province of Bacoli, is a huge archaeological park the site of the first Greek colony on mainland Italy (Sicily is older) thought to be around 800-1200 BC.
The site is away from the tourist crowds – a peaceful and isolated place to visit. A car or transfer from Napoli or Pozzuoli is recommended as public transport is limited.
For lovers of ancient history and archaeology this is a must visit. I highly recommend a guide to explain the vast ruins of the Greek, Etruscan and Roman villages as signs in English are limited.
Located on a hill next to the sea, the park has spectacular views over the sea and nearby island of Ischia. The atmosphere is magical and for some reason I just love this place – it is almost overwhelming with the sense of history and ancient myths which makes one want to study all the stories from Greek mythology. You will see the remains of the temples of Jupiter and Apollo.
It is a step back into the ancient past where the Greek and Roman mythologies take you into another world and when you step into Sibylla’s cave built by the Romans – an amazing construction feat for its time – one descends into a long tunnel to be swept away by an ancient Priestess presiding over the Apollos oracle who told one’s fortune and wrote them on oak leaves.
The ancient Greek word – Sibylla means prophetess. She was mentioned in Virgil’s Aeneid VI and she was very much honoured by the Romans. Well – to build such a massive cave underground – she was worth it! If you are interested read more about the Sibyl from Cuma and the Roman mythologies surrounding her. They are indeed fascinating.
I like the fact that she was taken seriously by the Romans as in the middle ages those that could see the future were burned at the stake accused of being witches in the inquisition by the Catholic Church.
Via Monte di Cuma 3 , Cuma, province of Bacoli, Campania
Open 9.00 am to an hour before sunset every day. Ph 081 8040430 – fax 081 8040430 Closed: Christmas day, 1 Jan, 1 May.