The sunken Roman city now lies beneath the waves off of Italy

The sunken Roman city now lies beneath the waves off of Italy

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The sunken Roman city now lies beneath the waves off of Italy

The sunken city of the Caesars, which has been lost beneath the waves off Italy’s west coast for 1,700 years, has been revealed in stunning new photographs taken by divers who were given permission to explore the region. According to historians, Baiae was ancient Rome’s Las Vegas for the super-rich, with sprawling mansions and a reputation for luxury and wickedness.

Baiae was the Las Vegas for the super-rich of ancient Rome, covered in sprawling mansions and synonymous with luxury and wickedness, historians claim. The 1st Century city has been revealed in stunning new photographs taken by divers who were allowed to explore the area

However, when volcanic activity forced the coastline to retreat 400 meters inland, driving the entire city underwater into what is now the Gulf of Naples in modern-day Italy, most of it was lost to the sea. The site has since been re-discovered, 1,700 years after disappearing beneath the waves on the west coast of Italy. Divers were allowed to explore the site recently and snapped photos of the treasures that can still be found in the underwater city.

Antonio Busiello, who lives in Naples, photographed the site and found that roads, walls, mosaics, and even statues had survived the ravages of time.

Incredibly, parts of the city are still in-tact 1,700 years later. Pictured above, a diver shows off a tiled floor that was discovered in a search of the city

The 45-year-old said: ‘The beautiful mosaics and the villas and temples that have reemerged or still underwater show the opulence and wealth of this area.

‘It was considered one of the most important Roman cities for centuries. Pliny the Younger used to live here and from here, across the gulf, he witnessed and described the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum.’ 

He added: ‘Diving here is like a dive into history, looking at ancient Roman ruins underwater is something hard to describe, a beautiful experience indeed.’

The sunken Roman city now lies beneath the waves off of Italy
Among the sights now visible are the Pisoni and Protiro villas, where intricate white mosaics as well as residential rooms can be seen

In its heyday, Baiae was frequented by famous Romans including Julius Caesar, Nero, Pompey the Great, Marius, and Hadrian – who died there. Among the sights now visible are the Pisoni and Protiro villas, where intricate white mosaics, as well as residential rooms, can be seen.

There’s also the Nymphaeum of Punta Epitaffio, where divers swim among the statues of Ulysses and his helmsman Baius, for whom Baiae was named. A documentary released earlier this year, titled Rome’s Sunken Secrets, followed a series of dives led by underwater archaeologist Dr. Barbara Davidde and involving historians and scientists from across the world. They revealed vast villas, priceless statues, and breathtaking mosaics, as well as heated spas, cobbled streets, and even a nymphaeum – a grotto of pleasure – in the city that lies 150 miles south of Rome and 50 north of Pompeii

Walls of estates in the ancient city sit just below the water’s surface off the coast of western Italy. Divers can now explore the region

One significant find was a section of lead water pipe just a few inches in diameter inscribed ‘L Pisonis’. This pinpoints the exact location where one of the greatest scandals in Roman history unfolded. As classics professor Kevin Dicus explains, ‘L Pisoni’s was the mark of the Piso family. The villa it was attached to was almost certainly the property of Gaius Calpurnius Piso, who was a close friend of Emperor Nero.

‘Ancient texts tell us that Piso plotted to murder the emperor at his holiday villa in Baiae so he could become emperor instead, but he had a change of heart at the last minute. When Nero learned about the plan, he ordered Piso to commit suicide.

The sunken city of the Caesars, lost for 1,700 years beneath waves off of Italy’s west coast, has been revealed in stunning new photographs taken by divers who were allowed to explore the area. Baiae was the Las Vegas for the super-rich of the 1st Century’s ancient Rome, covered in sprawling mansions and synonymous with luxury and wickedness, historians claim.

But as time passed, much of it was lost to the sea as volcanic activity caused the coastline to retreat 400metres inland, forcing the entire city underwater into what is now the Gulf of Naples in modern-day Italy. The site has since been re-discovered, 1,700 years after disappearing beneath the waves on the west coast of Italy. Divers were allowed to explore the site recently and snapped photos of the treasures that can still be found in the underwater city.

Antonio Busiello, who lives in Naples, photographed the site and found that roads, walls, mosaics, and even statues had survived the ravages of time. The 45-year-old said: ‘The beautiful mosaics and the villas and temples that have reemerged or still underwater show the opulence and wealth of this area.

‘It was considered one of the most important Roman cities for centuries. Pliny the Younger used to live here and from here, across the gulf, he witnessed and described the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum.’ 

He added: ‘Diving here is like a dive into history, looking at ancient Roman ruins underwater is something hard to describe, a beautiful experience indeed.’ In its heyday, Baiae was frequented by famous Romans including Julius Caesar, Nero, Pompey the Great, Marius, and Hadrian – who died there.

Among the sights now visible are the Pisoni and Protiro villas, where intricate white mosaics, as well as residential rooms, can be seen. There’s also the Nymphaeum of Punta Epitaffio, where divers swim among the statues of Ulysses and his helmsman Baius, for whom Baiae was named. A documentary released earlier this year, titled Rome’s Sunken Secrets, followed a series of dives led by underwater archaeologist Dr. Barbara Davidde and involving historians and scientists from across the world.

They revealed vast villas, priceless statues, and breathtaking mosaics, as well as heated spas, cobbled streets, and even a nymphaeum – a grotto of pleasure – in the city that lies 150 miles south of Rome and 50 north of Pompeii.  One significant find was a section of lead water pipe just a few inches in diameter inscribed ‘L Pisonis’. This pinpoints the exact location where one of the greatest scandals in Roman history unfolded.

As classics professor Kevin Dicus explains, ‘L Pisoni’s was the mark of the Piso family. The villa it was attached to was almost certainly the property of Gaius Calpurnius Piso, who was a close friend of Emperor Nero.

‘Ancient texts tell us that Piso plotted to murder the emperor at his holiday villa in Baiae so he could become emperor instead, but he had a change of heart at the last minute. When Nero learned about the plan, he ordered Piso to commit suicide.

‘So we now know where the assassination attempt would have taken place. For the archaeologists, it was like finding the Holy Grail.’

Piso’s villa had its own jetty and two huge bath complexes, but that was nothing compared to the opulence at another estate the team discovered.  Slowly revealed over many dives was a mansion so luxurious archaeologists believe it was the Imperial Villa specially built for Emperor Claudius.

‘So we now know where the assassination attempt would have taken place. For the archaeologists, it was like finding the Holy Grail.’ Piso’s villa had its own jetty and two huge bath complexes, but that was nothing compared to the opulence at another estate the team discovered. 

Slowly revealed over many dives was a mansion so luxurious archaeologists believe it was the Imperial Villa specially built for Emperor Claudius.


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