In the Campania region, not far from the famous city of Naples, lies a submerged treasure, a place steeped in history and mystery: Baia Submerged.
This ancient city once stood on the shores of the Gulf of Naples but now lies submerged beneath the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Baia was a beloved resort destination for the ancient Romans and an important cultural and thermal center of its time. Its privileged location and the presence of hot volcanic springs attracted nobles, philosophers, and artists, including the renowned orator Cicero. Baia’s opulent villas were adorned with mosaics and sculptures, and its thermal baths were renowned for their therapeutic properties. However, Baia’s fortune was destined to decline. With the political instability of the Roman Empire, the city often fell victim to looting and destruction. Its fate was definitively sealed when the nearby Solfatara volcano began to erupt. This volcanic activity led to the rising and sinking of the land on which Baia stood, gradually causing it to sink beneath the sea. Over the centuries, the city was forgotten, submerged, and hidden from the world.
The story of Baia Submerged began to resurface only in the 20th century when the first underwater explorations and archaeological research began to reveal the hidden wonders beneath the sea. Today, Baia is a highly significant underwater archaeological site, with remnants of villas, roads, and thermal structures that testify to its past grandeur. Among the most astonishing discoveries are the submerged statues that adorned the villas of Baia. These statues, crafted from marble and bronze, depict deities, emperors, and mythological figures. The artistry and craftsmanship with which they were created are fascinating testaments to Roman art. In addition to its archaeological history, Baia Submerged is also surrounded by a rich legendary tradition. It is said that the waters covering the city are mysterious and may still hold treasures and secrets. Local fishermen’s legends tell of sightings of underwater lights and strange sensations in the submerged area.
In recent years, the site of Baia Submerged has been the focus of significant conservation and preservation efforts. Archaeologists and experts continue to study and document the underwater discoveries, while local authorities are promoting cultural and scuba diving tourism to introduce this fascinating part of Naples’ history to the world.