The Roman road of the Mostra d'Oltremare, a surprising discovery

by Chiara Sarracino

Closed with a gate and a barrier, behind a dilapidated building recently. This is the picture around the Roman road of the Mostra d'Oltremare, a piece believed to be part of theancient Via Puteolana, the road that it connected Naples with Pozzuoli.

The video shows the Roman road of the Mostra d'Oltremare

The Roman road of the Mostra d'Oltremare

If the Mostra d'Oltremare had not been built, with a little malice, we could say that most likely this road would have been irretrievably lost. It was indeed a chance discovery in 1939, while the works of arrangement of the monumental gardens of the exhibition facility. During the excavation activities, in fact, they began to emerge some paving stones in lava stone too regular in shape and well arranged to be there by chance. Then a piece of was found aqueduct. And finally a Roman mausoleum in poor condition, which was located at the side of the road. This immediately corroborated the hypothesis that it was an important road axis of the Roman era, since it was an ancient custom that of put the funerary monuments on the sides of the main streets. We have an example with it Scudillo and the Conocchia, which no longer exists.

Moreover, the discovery of the Roman road of the Mostra d'Oltremare was also perfectly compatible with the various Roman finds found in the area, such as the thermal baths of Via Terracina, not very far from there.

Changes to the project

Vincenzo Tecchio, the commissioner of the Mostra d'Oltremare, immediately decided to request a change to the initial plan: he asked in fact to restore and set up a small museum area which, from the point of view of fascist propaganda, fell just to the bean for to emphasize even more the value of "Romanism" which was to represent the future colonial exhibition of the overseas lands.

In reality, however, the fair lasted very little: during the II World War it was occupied by the Americans and it became a military camp, then it was occupied by bombing evacuees.
Finally, after five years of neglect and devastation, the archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri he personally took care of the reconstruction and restoration of the road and the Roman monument.

strada romana della mostra d'oltremare
The Roman road of the Mostra d'Oltremare

The Via Puteolana, from Chiaia to Pozzuoli

According to the studies of Amedeo Maiuri, in all probability that Roman road of the Mostra d'Oltremare it was actually a piece of the Via Puteolana, the Roman road axis that connected Neapolis with the most important and famous Puteoli. The road began with the current one Via Chiaia, which was the bed of a vanished river, and went on along the beach of the homonymous district. Then he crossed the Crypta Neapolitan, headed towards Pozzuoli passing through the countryside of Fuorigrotta. There is also a peculiarity: they are still present on the paving the marks of the wheels of the wagons that traveled the road.

The other way was quite different, the Puteolis Neapolim for Colles, which instead passed through the hamlet of Antignano and Capodimonte and today survives in very small sections such as Via Belvedere or Via Cifariello.

And today it's there, a small road layout that is anything but silent: he tells us with his presence an extraordinary civilization that has urbanized our territory more than two thousand years ago.

-Chiara Sarracino

Alfredo Buccaro, Giancarlo Alisio, Naples Millenovecento, Electa, 2000
Mostra D'Oltremare Naples - Congresses, fairs and shows (

Become a supporter!

We have decided to remove advertisements from the website to ensure maximum enjoyment of our stories. However, we need financial support to keep our editorial activities alive: join the supporters of our platform, for you many advantages and preview videos!

Leave a comment

error: NOTICE: You can't copy the content!