Anfiteatro di Capua

I’m finally getting this post up after a very busy week! First, Thomas’ laptop broke, and we lost everything on it, which really sucked because my laptop broke not too long ago and I had just finished moving all my files over. Luckily I had everything backed up (Do it people! You never know when you could lose everything!). Then, before we could fix it, we spent the weekend in Pisa for a softball tournament (post to come). Then we lost the camera. We found it yesterday and I was finally able to get caught up on uploading files to the fixed laptop. Phew! Onward…

May 22 – Last Tuesday we headed out to Capua to see the Amphitheater of Capua Vetere. We wanted to go that Monday after we saw The Royal Palace at Caserta, but it was closed. So we took on the rain to check it out.

It may look a little beat up now, but this thing used to be four arches high! Plus, there’s an underground portion. It is the second largest amphitheater in Italy only after the Roman Colosseum (it used to be able to hold up to 60,000 people). It seems that no one really knows an exact construction date of the amphitheater, but some say it was 100 years before the Colosseum, which was completed in 80 AD. It has since been damaged by war and looted to build other things such as the Castello delle Pietre (Castle of Stones) and other modern buildings in Capua. The outer marble coating of the amphitheater, for example, is almost completely stripped off, although there are still a few places where it remains intact.

The Anfiteatro di Capua  is the place of Spartacus’ rebellion. Different sources have a little bit different dates and events, but here’s the gist of the story: beginning around 75 BC, Spartacus was forced to fight wild animals and other gladiators inside the amphitheater to entertain guests. Soon, he got tired of the inhumane conditions and escaped to Vesuvius with 70 others. On the way to the volcano they ran into some soldiers who were sent to fight and catch them, but Spartacus and his men–armed only with farming tools, knives, and spears–kicked their asses and took their weapons. Other sources say they escaped using kitchen tools, found weapons in the streets and used those to fight the soldiers, then upgraded when they defeated them. Spartacus and a couple other guys (Oenomaus and Crixus) were elected head of the rebels. They took refuge at the foot of Vesuvius and welcomed other runaway slaves and trained them. So that’s pretty cool.

This place isn’t super touristy, which is great. In fact, there was only one other group while we were there, and I only saw them once the whole time. So we basically had the place to ourselves. The rain may have played a part too though…

Here’s the rest of the pictures 🙂

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