Submerged park of Baia – Pozzuoli
A few meters below sea level and a few meters from the shore an entire city from the Roman era
The submerged park of Baia is a protected marine area (*) located on the sea of Pozzuoli between Posillipo promontory and Cape Miseno, within the Gulf of Naples in the Phlegraen Fields (Campi Flegrei) area.
What is extraordinary about this underwater park is that a few meters below sea level and a few meters from the shore, it is enshrined an entire and well-preserved city from the Roman era. The area is visible both from the surface with simple snorkeling equipment or with easy guided diving or with “panoramic” boats with a transparent bottom.
Visiting this archaeological site, three times larger than Pompei, is a very suggestive experience.
But how were Baia and Pozzuoli 2000 years ago?
Two thousand years ago Baia and Pozzuoli were the main localities of the Campi Flegrei, and the elegant vacation spots of the Roman patricians.
There were luxurious villas (Emperor Adriano built one, and he died here in 138 AD), spas, docks and fish ponds, and a majestic port that could host an entire fleet.
The city of Baia was then submerged by earthquakes but the sinking favored the conservation of this priceless treasure.
Today, in what was the Lacus Baianus, visitors can see mosaics, statues, remains of marble floors and Latin walls caressed by tufts of Posidonia and schools of fish. The place is extraordinarily evocative, and makes this stretch of the Neapolitan seabed a small submerged Pompei.
Among the most valuable rooms that are sunk, there is the Nymphaeum of Punta Epitaffio, a triclinium used as a banquet hall dating back to the time of Emperor Claudius, whose original statues have been transferred to the Archaeological Museum of the Phlegraean Fields but the environment has been reconstructed underwater.
The underwater park of Baia represents, along with Gaiola park also in the Campi Flegrei area, a unique example of underwater archaeological and naturalistic protection.
The submerged city was discovered around 1920 and the protected area was established in 2002.
The paid excursions are scheduled from April to November
Photos from Baia park website
(*) Marine protected areas or Marine Reserves are stretches of the sea where human activities such as sport fishing, professional fishing, scuba diving, the entry with motorboats, motorcycles, cars, are partially or totally limited and subject to variable regulation. It is absolutely forbidden to leave waste on the beaches. The typology of these areas varies according to the protection constraints. The Italian marine protected areas are 27, for a sea surface of approximately 222,442 hectares