The Natural Park of the Solfatara
The Solfatara of Pozzuoli is without doubt the most interesting volcano of Campi Flegrei, an area north of Naples made up of about 40 ancient volcanoes. In its surroundings there are historical places of special interest such as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Acropolis of Cuma, the Baths of Baia, the Temple of Serapis.
With an area of about 33 hectares, it is a natural oasis that offers the starting point for an interesting walk offering not only the renown volcanic phenomena such as fumaroles, mofettes and mud small volcanoes, but also wooded and Mediterranean vegetation, not to mention some natural, geological, botanical and wildlife wonders.
The Solfatara in Pozzuoli offers the opportunity for a quiet walk in an area rich in natural green, far from the usual noise of the city. A wide parking lot is provided for private vehicles and tourist buses, just in the vicinity of the entrance, the path is only for pedestrians.
Numerous direction and educational signs accompany visitors along the way and provide information on the many landmarks and natural characteristics. The visit of the Solfatara has ancient roots in what was one of the obligatory stops of the "Grand Tour", the educational and leisure trip that the European aristocrats were making especially in Italy and France already in the eighteenth century. The average duration of the visit is 45 minutes; a refreshment bar in a richly wooded place allows a break at the end of the walk. The visit can be better appreciated if accompanied by one of the authorized local Guides.
During the visit to the volcano you can observe two phenomena that generate amazement and dismay in the visitor: the condensation of steam. One of the most striking phenomena of the Solfatara is that of the condensation of steam that occurs by bringing a small flame closer to a fumarole: the steam gradually grow thicker since the tiny solid particles produced by the combustion as the ions of the atmospheric gas close to the flame act as nuclei of the condensation of steam itself. The rumble of the ground.
Another striking phenomenon is caused by a rock, which, left to fall to the ground from a small height, in some specific parts of the crater, causes a dull rumble that creates the feeling that there are large underground cavities. In reality it is micro cavities produced by gas of fumaroles in a ground of pretty porous origin. The main tourist attractions are: the Fangaia, the Bocca Grande (i.e. the main fumarole), the Pozzo of mineral water and the old "Stufe" (natural saunas).