The Bay of Naples is a unique melting pot of history, archaeology, mythology, geology, and volcanic life, perfectly emblematized by the Baia Underwater Archaeology Park.
At the height of its glory, the Classical Roman city of Baia was a honeypot for the rich and glamorous of its time, who found hedonistic refuge in its natural beauty and the healing powers of its hot springs.
The park is home to the sunken city of Baia; an ancient Roman city that was completely submerged by bradyseism activity, a phenomenon typical of the volcanic area of the ‘Phlegraean fields’ in which the city was built. The underwater engulfment left the city virtually untouched, transforming it a great testament to the wonders of the Roman era in the Neapolitan region.
Personalities like the emperors Caesar and Nero built luxurious holiday villas in this spa resort to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life.
This maritime marvel is one of the world’s very few underwater parks and provides for a great day out to merge archaeology with a swim or a dive.
Some of the key diving sites include the Villa a Protiro, a luxurious villa with beautiful mosaic flooring, and Ninfeo di Claudio, a cluster of Roman baths, pavement and Emperor Claudius’ ‘Nymphaeum’, or relaxation chambers. The marble statues that decorated the Nymphaeum can be found in the Baia Museum, along with other remains uncovered from the depths of the waters.
Those who don't want to get wet can still visit Baia with a glass-bottomed boat. Individuals can go on tours on weekends, but booking in advance is a must.
www.baiasommersa.it - 10 euro per person
Where to get your diving gearThe diving centre Campi Flegrei offers everything you need from equipment to diving courses to guided diving tours, in addition to fully-serviced beachfront facilities such as showers, changing rooms, bars, sun decks and more.
For some extra scuba diving, the centre also organizes tours around the Phlegraean islands of Ischia and Procida, where you can discover more underwater archaeological wonders.
A half-day excursion (8.30 am-1 pm) with one dive costs €30, and a full day (8.30 am-5 pm) with two dives and lunch onboard is €60. Equipment can also be rented at €15.