According to historians, Baiae was the Las Vegas of 1st-century Rome for the affluent, with its expansive mansions and association with opulence and debauchery.
The littoral retreated 400 meters interior as a result of volcanic activity, submerging the entire city in what is now the Gulf of Naples in modern-day Italy.
According to historians, Baiae was the Las Vegas of ancient Rome, with expansive mansions and a reputation for decadence and opulence. Divers who were permitted to investigate the area have captured breathtaking new images of the city from the 1st century.
Volcanic activity caused the littoral to retreat 400 meters inland, submerging the majority of the city in what is now the Gulf of Naples in modern-day Italy.
Unbelievably, portions of the city remain intact after 1 700 years. Above, a diver displays a tiled floor that was discovered during a municipal investigation.
Antonio Busiello, a resident of Naples, took photographs of the site and discovered that roadways, walls, mosaics, and even statues had withstood the ravages of time.
According to Busiello, the remaining monuments and mosaics demonstrate the city’s opulence when it was still inhabited.In its zenith, Baiae was frequented by prominent Romans such as Julius Caesar, Nero, Pompey the Great, Marius, and Hadrian – all of whom perished there.
Currently visible attractions include the Pisoni and Protiro villas, which feature intricate white mosaics and residential chambers.
Divers can swim among statues of Ulysses and his helmsman Baius, for whom Baiae was named, at the Nymphaeum of Punta Epitaffio.
This is not the first time divers have explored the site in pursuit of remnants of the Las Vegas-like city. Rome’s Sunken Secrets, a documentary released earlier this year, followed a series of excursions lead by underwater archaeologist Dr. Barbara Davidde and involving historians and scientists from around the globe.
The city is submerged in the Gulf of Naples off the west coast of Italy. It is 50 miles north of Pompeii and 150 miles south of Rome.
A section of lead water conduit with the inscription ‘L Pisonis’ and a diameter of just a few inches was discovered (not pictured). This identifies the precise site where one of the greatest scandals in Roman history occurred.
Many of the surviving monuments are covered with marine organisms that have made the rock figures their homes after the water submerged them.
He added, “Diving here is akin to diving into history; observing ancient Roman ruins underwater is difficult to describe, a truly beautiful experience.”
Famous Romans, including Julius Caesar, Nero, Pompey the Great, Marius, and Hadrian, died in Baiae during its zenith.
There are now views of the Pisoni and Protiro villas, which feature intricate white mosaics as well as residential chambers.