Revealed: The sunken Roman city that was once the resort of the super rich but now lies beneath the waves with its treasures intact (27 Pics)

  • Baiae was the Las Vegas for the super-rich of ancient Rome and was synonymous with luxury and wickedness
  • But as the centuries passed, much of it was lost to the sea as volcanic activity caused the coastline to retreat 
  • The quickly retreating coastline forced all of Baiae under water and into the Gulf of Naples in modern-day Italy
  • The site has since been re-discovered, 1,700 years after disappearing beneath the waves on Italy's west coast

  • Baiae was the Las Vegas for the super-rich of the ancient Rome, covered in sprawling mansions and synonymous with luxury and wickedness, historians claim. The 1st Century city has been revealed in stunning new photographs taken by divers who were allowed to explore the area

    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

    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

    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 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

    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

    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

    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

    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 

    Divers search through what appear to have once been walls of a potential estate or square within the sunken city of the Caesars

    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 

    Divers used flashlights to closely examine the statues like the one above, which has turned into a home for sea creatures over the years

    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

    Another statue in the sunken city shows a man from the torso up, apparently lifting a huge object out of the ground below him

    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

    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
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