A few years ago we got to visit a church in Pozzuoli, where the apostle Paul landed! They even have a sign at the port indicating the spot where he disembarked, and we couldn’t help but wonder what it was like back then and how he felt.
Reghium is now called Reggio Calabria, while Pozzuoli in Roman times was known as Puteoli. It’s still a hospitable place (all of the Naples area is), and a pretty seaside city with plenty of interesting things to see, especially Roman artifacts.
Pozzuoli started out as a Greek colony called Dicaearchia. Upon becoming a Roman colony in 194 BC, it took the name Puteoli. It lies in the center of a volcanic caldera called Campi Flegrei.
Puteoli was an important port during Roman times, importing grain and other goods from all over the world. And exporting goods like blown glass, mosaics, wrought iron, and marble. The harbor of nearby Misenum housed the largest naval fleet in the ancient world.
But what makes Pozzuoli most interesting to me is the apostle Paul’s stay there on his way to imprisonment in Rome. After staying there for 7 days, he and his companions proceeded northward to Rome, a journey of 170 miles (274 km) along the Appian Way.
It’s exciting to know that Paul found fellow believers there even back then! Wouldn’t it be amazing if some of the believers we met were distant relatives of them?
The seismic activity which has plagued the area peaked in October 1983, destroying 8,000 buildings in the city center. And raising the sea bottom almost 2 meters, making the bay too shallow for large ships.
But it remains an interesting town in a beautiful area, and if you get to the Naples area, Pozzuoli is worth a visit!
As our trip there was last-minute and in the middle of summer, we could only find a windowless room in a rather rundown B&B. It might be tempting to complain when things could be better, we’re learning to search for the blessings instead.
Our weekend in Pozzuoli was one of the summer’s hottest, and coming down from the mountains we really felt it. BUT the B&B had air conditioning. I don’t usually look forward to visiting new churches, as I usually feel awkward and out of place, BUT we really did find them warm and inviting. And we got to visit the town a bit, enjoyed some meals out, and met some great people at both the church and the B&B!
Image credits: Seafront by Patrick Nouhailer CC BY-SA 3.0 | Others are mine.