Campi Flegrei are a vast volcanic area situated north-west from Naples where history and nature merge between earth and sea, and the coastline represents the symbiosis between mankind history and sea life. The Campi Flegrei waters reveal to divers these wonders.
Here, the sea preserved topical the signs left by the passage of ancient Romans and Greeks.
Ruins of villas, thermal baths and roads lie just a few meters from the surface and, together with marine life and gaseous emissions, create a unique and unexpected underwater Mediterranean landscape.
This extraordinary characteristics lead to the creation of a Marine Protected Area between the municipalities of Bacoli and Pozzuoli. Octopuses, small crustaceans and fishes snoop undisturbed around submerged buildings and roads, colonized by sessile organisms such as algae, sponges, sea anemones, sea urchins and starfishes.
Dive sites of the submerged archaeological park of Baia.
Emperor Claudio’s submerged nymphaeum: a rectangular building with a semicircular apsis and four lateral recesses, housing the statues Prothyrum Villa and Pisoni’s Villa: just outside the nymphaeum, there is Herculanea road, leading just in front of two impressive villas’ remains.
The Prothyrum Villa got this name because of its peculiar entrance made of a series of rooms receiving light from a central atrium.
One of these rooms let the divers appreciate and admire an amazing mosaic, creating a black & white hexagonal pattern.
The Pisoni’s Villa, belonging to a noble family, de velops around a courtyard and reveals mosaic floors, semi-columns, marbles, therm al baths and fish breeding pools
Portus Julius: Important harbor structure, used as a dockyard by the Miseno fleet. During the dive, it is possible to admire the ancient harbor remains.
Smoky Shoal: The fumaroles, columns of volcanic gas bubbles bursting out from the seabed, are the main features of this dive site, together with uncountable sulphur deposits creating
an extraordinary and unique underwater environment and landscape.
WORDS and PICTURES by Pasquale Vassallo
By kind permission of the italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and tourism-archaeological superintendence of Campania, Naples.