Capua (and the roman ruins at nearby Santa Maria Capua Verte) is situated about 30km north of Naples in the Campania region of central Italy. it has been an active local centre for more than 2000 years, as can be seen in the monuments and buildings in the town.
A visit to Capua can start from the 'Piazza of Judges', situated in the centre of the city, and the 16th century Town Hall - on the façade of which you can see seven busts taken from the 'Amphitheatre of Santa Maria Capua Vetere'.
Nearby there is also the Church of Saint Eligi, which was built in the Middle Ages and renovated in the Baroque period. The Corso Appio is the main street in Capua, situated on the Roman consular road called the “Via Appia”.
To the north of Capua there is a bridge called the Ponte Romano [“Roman bridge”], rebuilt after the second World War; while to the south are the towers of Friedrich II of Swabia (1194-1250) and the remains of the famous Porta di Capua.
Capua Cathedral was built in the 9th century and has been renovated several times over the centuries. On the right you can see the Bell Tower with three levels of double Lancet Windows and ancient columns. The candelabrum of the Easter candle, located inside, dates back to about the 13th century, and in the apse there is a painting of the Assumption by Francesco Solimena (1657-1747).
In a chapel in the crypt there is the marble statue of "Dead Christ" by Matteo Bottigliero (1684-1757). In the Chapel of the Sacrament is a 17th century ciborium and a 15th century wooden "Madonna", while in the chapel of "S.S. body of Christ", is the Diocesan Museum, that holds items relating to folk art dating back to the 1st century BC and some statues that decorated the Capua Gate.
Museum of the Palazzo Antignano
In the Museum of the Palazzo Antignano (itself an example of Catalan art) about two hundred votive statues of the so-called “Mothers” are exhibited, from the sanctuary dedicated to the Italic Goddess called "Mater Matuta", the Goddess of fertility - these statues in tuff depict some mothers with children in their arms. These statues were constructed to thank the Goddess for a success maternity.
Also of great historical importance is the lapidary dedicated to the great German historian Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903), which contains numerous Roman inscriptions, and a rich series of Roman funerary steles from Capua and Casilinum.
In the part of Capua museum dedicated to the Medieval age there are some very interesting statues, rare examples of Italian sculpture from the 13th century.
Churches of interest in Capua
Just as numerous in Capua are the churches such as “Saint Giovanni a Corte”, “Saint Michele a Corte”, and “St. Salvatore Maggiore a Corte”, with two mullioned Windows plans and three arches on the façade (inside you can see some columns with capitals and traces of frescoes).
Other religious buildings of note include “SS. Rufo and Carponio” and “St.Marcello Maggiore”, which preserves a portal of great artistic value.
Other Capua monuments
Also worth seeing is the so-called Castello delle Pietre ["Castle of the stones"], which was the residence of the Normans. The castle is characterised by a huge donjon, expanded in the 19th century. Construction materials for the tower were taken from the Amphitheatre of Capua.
Also of considerable historical value is the Napoli Gate, built in the 16th century.
For the important Ancient Roman ruins nearby see Santa Maria Capua Verte.
The famous buffalo “mozzarella” is produced in this fertile area - buffalo adapt well to the temperate conditions and the abundance of standing water. The same was also known to be the case at the time of the Romans and from the early Middle Ages.
See also history of Capua.