I’m a naturally curious person. I read something and start asking questions. My stories stem from the possible answers to those questions. In the book of Acts, after the Apostle Paul’s shipwreck he arrives in Italy:
After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island. It was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. There we found some brothers who invited us to spend a week with them. (Acts 28:11-14)
He spent a week there with believers. I’ve watched every movie and documentary on the Apostle Paul and not one of them fictionalizes what that week was like. Who were those believers? Did they start a church? Did Paul baptize anyone there?
Puteoli is located on the northern coast of the bay of Naples, south of Rome on the Via Appia. Though Ostia was Romes major port, many shipments came through Puteoli. Pompeii and Vesuvius lay southeast.
I attempt to answer these questions in my novel. It takes place in 69 A.D. Paul supposedly landed there in 65 A.D. and was executed by Nero in 67 A.D. In my novel, I have a flashback and my one of my main characters, Anthony, remembers what it was like meeting Paul and how Paul helped him convert and commissioned him to start the church in Puteoli.
Today, Puteoli is called Pozzuoli and its buildings are uninhabitable because of cracks in the foundations from frequent tremors. Here’s a map. Note the close proximity to Vesuvius.