Italy Missions

Pozzuoli, Naples: In Paul’s Footsteps

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.

Our first stop was Syracuse, where we stayed three days. From there we sailed across to Rhegium. A day later a south wind began blowing, so the following day we sailed up the coast to Puteoli. There we found some believers,who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome.

Acts 28:12-14 NLT

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!

1st image: Pozzuoli panorama by Patrick Nouhailer CC BY-SA 3.0 | Others ©SignoraSheila.

6 replies on “Pozzuoli, Naples: In Paul’s Footsteps”

Thank you for your description of Pozzouli, bringing to life one of the locations Paul visited. I can visualize him eyeing all the wares on display at the docks and along the city streets where he walked. And I wonder if he saw that impressive naval fleet as he approached the city? I’m glad you and your husband enjoyed a pleasurable visit, Sheila, in spite of less-than-ideal accommodations!


Thanks Nancy! It turned out to be a truly special and blessed weekend. One that we remember with pleasure. And, it’s always amazing to see how God works and moves, even in less than ideal situations! But best of all, it’s always so extra special to walk the places where Paul walked. It really helps bring the Scriptures to life!

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Personally very interesting. My Grandfather sailed here with his brother from Naples about 1905 and I think may have lived briefly in Reggio Calabria though his home village was Soveria Manuella. Loving feeling connected to a place I have never been.


Wow, that is interesting, Pastor Pete! We enjoyed our visit there, especially imagining Paul walking those streets!


What an adventure you had! The fact that Paul was there right before he went to prison in Rome, found followers of Jesus there, and enjoyed fellowship shows how the Lord prepares our way, lights our path, allows us to see Him in the details–even if it’s just a windowless room! What an incredible history for this place! Thank you so much for sharing. You’re a better history teacher than any I had growing up!


It was special for sure, Dayle! And how timely your comment is. We had quite the unexpected adventure today. Although it would actually be better to call it a misadventure. Post coming soon. God definitely prepares the way!!

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