The sunken Roman city was once resort of the super rich but now lies beneath the Sea

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The sunken city of the Caesars, lost for 1,700 years beneath waves off of Italy‘s west coast, has been revealed in stunning new photographs taken by divers who were allowed to explore the area.

Baiae was the Las Vegas for the super-rich of the 1st Century’s ancient Rome, covered in sprawling mansions and synonymous with luxury and wickedness, historians claim.

 

 

But as time passed, much of it was lost to the sea as volcanic activity caused the coastline to retreat 400metres inland, forcing the entire city underwater into what is now the Gulf of Naples in modern-day Italy.

Much of the city was lost to the sea as volcanic activity caused the coastline to retreat 400metres inland, forcing  it underwater into what is now the Gulf of Naples in modern-day Italy
 Much of the city was lost to the sea as volcanic activity caused the coastline to retreat 400metres inland, forcing  it underwater into what is now the Gulf of Naples in modern-day Italy
Incredibly, parts of the city are still in-tact 1,700 years later. Pictured above, a diver shows off a tiled floor that was discovered in a search of the city

Incredibly, parts of the city are still in-tact 1,700 years later. Pictured above, a diver shows off a tiled floor that was discovered in a search of the city

 

Antonio Busiello, who lives in Naples, photographed the site and found that roads, walls, mosaics and even statues had survived the ravages of time

Antonio Busiello, who lives in Naples, photographed the site and found that roads, walls, mosaics and even statues had survived the ravages of time

 

Busiello said that the statues and mosaics that are still standing show the opulence that filled the city when it was still livable
 Busiello said that the statues and mosaics that are still standing show the opulence that filled the city when it was still livable
In an artist's recreation of what Baiae would have looked 2,000 years ago before it was lost beneath the waves, there are sprawling mansions and squares located right on the water

In an artist’s recreation of what Baiae would have looked 2,000 years ago before it was lost beneath the waves, there are sprawling mansions and squares located right on the water

The site has since been re-discovered, 1,700 years after disappearing beneath the waves on the west coast of Italy.

Divers were allowed to explore the site recently and snapped photos of the treasures that can still be found at the underwater city.

Antonio Busiello, who lives in Naples, photographed the site and found that roads, walls, mosaics and even statues had survived the ravages of time.

The 45-year-old said: ‘The beautiful mosaics, and the villas and temples that have reemerged or are still underwater show the opulence and wealth of this area.

‘It was considered one of the most important Roman cities for centuries. Pliny the Younger used to live here and from here, across the gulf, he witnessed and described the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum.’

In its heyday, Baiae was frequented by famous Romans including Julius Caesar, Nero, Pompey the Great, Marius, and Hadrian - who died there

In its heyday, Baiae was frequented by famous Romans including Julius Caesar, Nero, Pompey the Great, Marius, and Hadrian – who died there

Among the sights now visible are the Pisoni and Protiro villas, where intricate white mosaics as well as residential rooms can be seen

Among the sights now visible are the Pisoni and Protiro villas, where intricate white mosaics as well as residential rooms can be seen

There’s also the Nymphaeum of Punta Epitaffio, where divers swim among the statues of Ulysses and his helmsman Baius, for whom Baiae was named

This isn't the first time the site has been searched by divers looking for remnants of the Las Vegas-like city

A documentary released earlier this year, titled Rome's Sunken Secrets, followed a series of dives led by underwater archaeologist Dr Barbara Davidde and involving historians and scientists from across the world

This isn’t the first time the site has been searched by divers looking for remnants of the Las Vegas-like city. A documentary released earlier this year, titled Rome’s Sunken Secrets, followed a series of dives led by underwater archaeologist Dr Barbara Davidde and involving historians and scientists from across the world

Vast villas, priceless statues and breathtaking mosaics, as well as heated spas, cobbled streets and even a nymphaeum – a grotto of pleasure – have all been found in the city beneath the sea

Vast villas, priceless statues and breathtaking mosaics, as well as heated spas, cobbled streets and even a nymphaeum – a grotto of pleasure – have all been found in the city beneath the sea

The city sits under water in the Gulf of Naples off of Italy's west coast. It is 150 miles south of Rome and 50 north of Pompeii

The city sits under water in the Gulf of Naples off of Italy’s west coast. It is 150 miles south of Rome and 50 north of Pompeii

One significant find was a section of lead water pipe just a few inches in diameter inscribed 'L Pisonis' (not pictured). This pinpoints the exact location where one of the greatest scandals in Roman history unfolded

One significant find was a section of lead water pipe just a few inches in diameter inscribed ‘L Pisonis’ (not pictured). This pinpoints the exact location where one of the greatest scandals in Roman history unfolded

Many of the statues that are still in tact are covered in sea creatures who have made the rock figurines their homes after water over took them

Many of the statues that are still in tact are covered in sea creatures who have made the rock figurines their homes after water over took them

He added: ‘Diving here is like a dive into history, looking at ancient Roman ruins underwater is something hard to describe, a beautiful experience indeed.’

In its heyday, Baiae was frequented by famous Romans including Julius Caesar, Nero, Pompey the Great, Marius, and Hadrian – who died there.

Among the sights now visible are the Pisoni and Protiro villas, where intricate white mosaics as well as residential rooms can be seen.

There’s also the Nymphaeum of Punta Epitaffio, where divers swim among the statues of Ulysses and his helmsman Baius, for whom Baiae was named.

A documentary released earlier this year, titled Rome’s Sunken Secrets, followed a series of dives led by underwater archaeologist Dr Barbara Davidde and involving historians and scientists from across the world.

They revealed vast villas, priceless statues and breathtaking mosaics, as well as heated spas, cobbled streets and even a nymphaeum – a grotto of pleasure – in the city that lies 150 miles south of Rome and 50 north of Pompeii.

When the city was in-tact, the famed Piso family had a villa featuring its own jetty and two huge bath complexes

Divers have since found other estates in the sunken city that feature even more opulence

When the city was in-tact, the famed Piso family had a villa featuring its own jetty and two huge bath complexes. Divers have since found other estates in the sunken city that feature even more opulence

Walls of estates in the ancient city sit just below the water's surface off the coast of western Italy. Divers can now explore the region 

Walls of estates in the ancient city sit just below the water’s surface off the coast of western Italy. Divers can now explore the region

Incredibly, the black-and-white mosaics still covered space on the sea floor. It is unclear how far the tiles go on for, as much of it has been covered by shells, sand and other sea items

Incredibly, the black-and-white mosaics still covered space on the sea floor. It is unclear how far the tiles go on for, as much of it has been covered by shells, sand and other sea items

In one open space in the sunken city, two large statues still stand side-by-side, with their heads and limbs still nearly fully in-tact

In one open space in the sunken city, two large statues still stand side-by-side, with their heads and limbs still nearly fully in-tact

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.

‘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.

‘So we now know where the assassination attempt would have taken place. For the archaeologists it was like finding the Holy Grail.’

Piso’s villa had its own jetty and two huge bath complexes, but that was nothing compared to the opulence at another estate the team discovered.

Slowly revealed over many dives was a mansion so luxurious archaeologists believe it was the Imperial Villa specially built for the Emperor Claudius.

Several fish now call the underwater city home, as it lies just under the surface off the coast of the Gulf of Naples in Italy

Several fish now call the underwater city home, as it lies just under the surface off the coast of the Gulf of Naples in Italy

Despite being eroded by sand throughout the years, one statue's details can still be seen, with creases on its layered clothing

Despite being eroded by sand throughout the years, one statue’s details can still be seen, with creases on its layered clothing

A diver examines one statue up close with a flashlight as fish swim by in the underwater city off the western coast of Italy

Among the villas found in the underwater city was a mansion so luxurious archaeologists believe it was the Imperial Villa specially built for the Emperor Claudius

Among the villas found in the underwater city was a mansion so luxurious archaeologists believe it was the Imperial Villa specially built for the Emperor Claudius

Source:http://www.dailymail.co.uk