A Roman settlement at the bottom of the sea

A Roman settlement at the bottom of the sea

A Roman settlement at the bottom of the sea

Baiae, an ancient Roman settlement, was located on the northwestern shore of the Gulf of Naples, now in the Bacoli region.

The underwater statues at Baiae are replicas but still feel “ghostly and sublime”

The city was known as the Roman Empire’s Las Vegas, the spot where the rich and wealthy came to carry out their illicit affairs.

Rome’s nobility was first attracted to Baiae by mineral water and a mild climate. Rome’s ultra-wealthy have taken weekend trips to party here.

The powerful statesman built luxurious villas on its beach, with heated spas and mosaic tiled pools where they could indulge their wildest desires.

“There are many tales of intrigue associated with Baiae,” a researcher who has partnered with local archaeologists to study the site, John Smout, said in a BBC report.

More than 2,000 years ago the town sank to the bottom of the sea. Below are some pictures of how the town looks now.

Volcanic vents made the water warm — and look almost oily

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 Pisonis 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 the Emperor Nero.

This underwater mosaic was once part of a floor of a magnificent villa

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 learnt about the plan, he ordered Piso to commit suicide.