Cuma was the first ancient Greek settlement on Italian mainland (Magna Graecia). It is said to have been founded in the 8th century b.c. by settlers who had already colonized the island of Ischia. It is located northwest of Naples and is most famous for the Sybil of Cuma. The Sybil was a prophetic priestess sacred to the Greek god Apollo. From her cavern Her sanctuary is open for public view.
Cuma became a sacred place in Roman mythology according to Virgil’s tales. At Avernus, a lake near Cuma, there is an entrance to the underworld used by Aeneas to be able to communicate with the Sybil. Since ancient times the “Cave of Sybil” has been the most mysterious place in all of the Phlegraean Fields. The cave measures 5 metres in height and over 130 metres in length. The cave would be pitch black if it wasn’t for the piercing shafts of light streaming down the cave walls.
Things to see at Cuma:
1) The Cave of Sybil
2) The Temple of Apollo
3) The Temple of Jupiter
4) The Forum of Samnite and Roman periods
5) Spa complex of the Republican period
6) Necropolis with royal tombs
Acropoli di Cuma: 081 854 30 60, Via Montecuma
Hours: daily, 9am-1hr before sunset
Price: €4, or €2 for EU members 18-24
Directions: From Montesanto station (near via Toledo) take the Cumana train and get off at Fusaro. From there take the S.E.P.S.A. Miseno-Cuma bus.
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