Baia – The Roman City Beneath The Waves

There is always something extremely enticing about a lost city, submerged beneath the waves. That is why the legend of Atlantis still resonates to this day.

However, few people realise that there are actually a number of ancient settlements that lie on the sea floor. In many cases they can be explored with some diving gear and a knowing guide.

Take the Classical Roman city of Baia located just outside of modern day Naples. During the time of the Empire, Baia was the Las Vegas of the day. The Roman elite would take short vacations here for a dose of its hedonistic pleasures.

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One of the many roman statues that rest eerily among the ruins
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Mosaics from ancient Roman villas spread across the sea floor

The city, which was located over natural volcanic vents, was also well visited due to the healing medicinal hot springs, over which the Romans built their spas.

Some of antiquity’s most well known and powerful individuals, (Nero, Cicero, and Caesar – to namedrop a few) were known to have visited the city with some building villas nearby.

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What’s left of the ancient city of Baia viewed from the air

After the fall of the Roman Empire the area fell into a slow decay. What was left was sacked in the 8th century by Saracens.

By 1500, the remains of the city were completely abandoned and the rising waters began to take their hold.

Today’s visitors to Baia can visit the ancient remains and view the crumbled structure of the city through glass-bottomed boats, or swim amongst them on snorkeling and scuba dives – a truly wonderful vacation experience.

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The remains of a road that once went through the city
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A statue wonderfully preserved beneath the waves – Caesar himself may well have touched this.
(Image Credits:, Pinterest,,

Baia – The Roman City Beneath The Waves

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