Friday, December 23, 2011


It's almost like you could hear the cry echo in the anfiteatro in Santa Maria Capua Vetere. Almost... or maybe it was the delirium of excitement at having finally FOUND the place.

The adventure begins in trying to figure out how one gets a Metro Nord'Ouest ticket at the Stazione Centrale in Napoli. I must have wandered around for about 30 minutes before locating the appropriate office (which was literally right in front of my face at least 3 times) with the help of a lady who worked in another office. What I was looking for was the official artecard office because this little gem of a card gets you into a certain number of historical sites or museums included in the price and gets you free public transport (trains, ferries, subway, buses etc) and some great (as in 50%) discounts on the other historical venues. So once I sorted out which card I would need and chatted with the saleslady about how to make best use (she told me all the museums are open and FREE on Christmas Day and that Pompeii was included in my card... guess who's going to Pompeii tomorrow?) of the card, I went to find my train. And this is what I found:

So CUTE!! It just has 2 cars and runs around the area. Very handy, very quick, very clean and comfortable. Once I finally (45 minutes) got to Santa Maria Capua Vetere (this is where ancient Capua was), I thought I'd pop off the train and right into the city centre, full of signage etc like Sorrento was... WRONG!! Not so many tourists make it out here and there is NO signage when you first get off the train and wander into the street. So let me help you avoid the extra 45 minutes or so of wandering the random streets of S. Maria Capua V. like I did. Once you come out from the station, follow the road to the T and then GO LEFT! You will follow that road up a curve and on your right will be a brown sign for the museum (which I would avoid going to, it's literally 2 rooms of stones behind glass... we have BETTER artifacts from the same period in Turkey). Keep going, going, going (you may want to ask for directions and most Italians are sweet enough to point you in the right direction). Finding the museum will help orient you for sure. The museum should be on your left... walk past it to a roundabout, take the left and keep walking until you see the anfiteatro on your right. It's hard to miss with the big open square and men playing afternoon games of Bocce Ball. And that's it. It's not spectacular or anything but if you are a history fan and a fan of Spartacus, then you might like to see it. The anfiteatro costs 2 Euro 50 to get in, so it's really cheap and the walking is easy, just over crazy uneven pavement (the paving stones of old are still in use on most streets). While, I'm exhausted from all the walking and wandering, I'm really glad I saw it. The walk was good for me and invigorating actually, and the site is just cool...

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