The Solfatara is a volcanic crater near Pozzuoli that is now dormant, but still has many solfatars named after the volcano itself. These are hot springs that are distinguished from other fumaroles by the fact that they emit sulfurous gases. The surrounding rocks have a yellow color because of the fumes escaping from this former Forum Vulcani.
Address, Opening hours and Admission price
The address of the Solfatara is Via Solfatara, 161 – Pozzuoli (tel. +39 0815262341). The crater can be visited every day from 08.30 to 16.30.
History and Description
Solfatars are hot springs distinguished from other fumaroles by emitting sulfurous gas.
This former crater used to be one of the stops on the Grand Tour. Although the volcano is now dormant, some activity can still be seen in the form of magma and clouds of smoke. The last eruption of this 4,000-year-old volcano probably occurred in 1198. The crater has a surface area of 33 hectares and offers, also thanks to the fertile soil, a lot of natural beauty.
The sulfur, aluminum and kaolin (also called china clay, and used in the manufacture of both paper and porcelain) extracted from the volcano have contributed much to the economy of Pozzuoli.
Of course, due to the many volcanic phenomena over the centuries, various legends and myths surrounding the Solfatara have been created by the inhabitants of the area.
In ancient times, the Forum was called Vulcani, after the God Vulcan.
In 305, seven Christian martyrs were beheaded there, including the Bishop of Benevento, Gennaro, and the Dean of the Church of Puteoli, Procolo.
The Belvedere, from which one can see the entire crater.
The mineral water spring, whose depth is constantly changing, according to the effect of the Bradyseism. In the past it was thought that the lemon-tasting water from this well, made in the 19th century, could help women become pregnant.
The Fangaia: In English, this is just a mud puddle, but one that bubbles nicely.
In the Cave of Trachite Stone you can see what was left behind after mining was stopped here.
The Bocca Grande (“Big Mouth”) is the main fumarole of the Solfatara. It is the fumes coming from this former Forum Volcani that give the surrounding rocks their yellowish color.
The Stufe Antiche are two caves created in the 19th century that were used for thermal purposes. They were called, because of the difference in temperature, Purgatorio and Inferno.