Santa Maria Capua Vetere stands where ancient Capua once stood, founded in the 9th century B.C. by the Etruscans, and then one of the most important and flourishing cities in Roman times, with one of the most famous gladiator schools of the time. Following the invasion of the Saracens in the 9th century, the population moved to the ancient where modern Capua now stands. Today, Santa Maria Capua Vetere thrives on the many vestiges left over from the ancient world. First is the Amphitheatre Campano, the second largest after the Colosseum, then the Archaeological Museum of ancient Capua, with the nearby Mitreo, one of the most important temples dedicated to the god Mitra. The Gladiator Museum is also worth a visit: three small rooms display a model of the entire theatre and decorations that have miraculously survived the ravages of time.