#DISCOVERTHEITALIANSECRETS | An immersion in the Sunken City of Baiae

#DISCOVERTHEITALIANSECRETS | An immersion in the Sunken City of Baiae

An Atlantis in Italy? In the bay of Pozzuoli, near the small town Baia in the province of Naples, the submerged town of Baia lies, considered by experts as an “underwater Pompeii” for the extraordinary wealth of archaeological finds about 7 meters below sea level. Vases, amphorae, statues and villas have been in apnea for centuries.


Vases in the Sunken City [photo credits GrandeNapoli]

A real underwater museum, also accessible to non-expert divers, with remains of luxurious villas and other important Roman buildings that tell an ancient story. In fact, Pozzuoli Gulf, overlooked by the small town of Baiae, is one of the many beautiful views of the Neapolitan coastline, which was particularly appreciated by the Roman patricians and it was chosen as a holiday resort for spending holidays or leisure. The fascination of Phlegraen Fields’ area also struck the foreign conquerors throughout history: in 1495, at the top of the town, Baiae Castle was erected anda was a military fortress built by the Aragonese kings, which today is the seat of the Archaeological Museum of the Phlegraean Fields. Nowadays, here many artifacts are preserved from the ancient city of Baiae, which was spa and residential imperial aristocrac, from Cuma, that was the oldest Greek colony of the peninsula, from Pozzuoli, which was an important emporium of the Roman world and from Miseno, that was the seat of the imperial fleet. The Phlegraean Fields, including Baia and Pozzuoli, are known for the phenomenon of bradyseism, which has involved, over the centuries, a lowering of the ground level along the shores of the sea, creating the progressive submersion of buildings and territories that weathered the shores of the coast. For this reason there is a submerged city that includes Roman buildings and roads and even an ancient port: today it has become an archaeological park declared in 2007 as a marine protected area.


The Sunken City of Baiae [photo credits Tournapoli]

It’s possible to visit the underwater town for everyone thanks to guided visits. The most interesting sites to visit with fins and mask are: Villa dei Pisoni which still preserves a large fountain and a thermal pool; Villa in Protiro with its portico, its mosaics and its splendid frescoes; Portus Julius, a grandiose port structure used as an arsenal of the Roman fleet; the “Secca Fumosa”, a sandy bottom so-called thanks to the phenomenon of “fumaroles”, columns of bubbles of volcanic origin coming out of the sand, and characterized by the 12 pylons that formed the breakwater barrier of the ancient Portus Julius; the Nymphaeum, that is the hall of the Aragonese Castle of Emperor Claudius; the remains of the Roman town as perimeters of buildings, streets and colonnades. An “immersive” experience in every sense, which offers a visit to a real underwater city, as the legend of Atlantis tells.

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