Gaiola and Baia Underwater Parks
Close to the center of Naples but a world away from the traffic and noise are these unique archeological parks, parts of them are completely underwater! The Parco Sommerso di Gaiola (Underwater Park of Gaiola) is located in the Gulf of Naples on the southwest side of the city, one at Baia where the so-called Campi Flegrei meet the Mediterranean Sea, and the other at the point of Posillipo. Baia is near Pozzuoli, an area of volcanic calderas and crater lakes that are part of one big volcano.
The underwater parks are next to a land-bound archeological areas on the Neapolitan coast. The Villa Imperiale Pausilypon and Parco Archeologico di Posillipo, and the Complesso Archeologico di Baia are connected in history to the now-submerged Roman remains. The park, covering 42 hectares of the bay, along a few kilometers of coastline, has an ancient port, aristocratic villas and temples all lying below the waves. The Marine Protected Area is a beautiful spot for those who like scuba and snorkeling where you can see much more than just fish and reefs!
The plants and marine life that have taken up residence among the ruins have had a protective effect on them, keeping them from crumbling away in the waves and erosive nature of the salt water, while conversely the ruins have provided suitable habitat for these species. It's a fascinating look at biology and archeology together!
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Address in Naples:
Porto di Baia.
Ph. (+39) 081 240 3235.