Baia Archaeological Park - Phlegraean Fields - Naples
According to the legend, this beautiful creek took its name from "Bajos", the companion of Ulysses, who died and was buried here.
At the beginning it was dependent upon the powerful Cuma.
Baia owed its fame, in ancient times, to its mild climate and the copious hot spring, so that it was with good reason that Horace wrote: "Nullus in orbe sinus Bais praelucet amoenis" (No other place in the world is more radiant than the Gulf of Baia).
Owing to bradyseism, the Ancient city is now, to a great extent, under the sea.
In the Archaeological Park there are several delightful structures and hydraulic plants: the "Temples", which in effect were thermal spas, to Mercury, Venus, Diana, the "Cento Camerelle" (Hundered Little Rooms, literally), the "Piscina Mirabilis" (Admirable Pool), actually a huge water tank, the "Tomb of Agrippina", the Military Port of Miseno, the "Theatre" and a series of "Monumental tombs"... An unmatched archaeological heritage.
The spa complex known as that one of Mercury, from the name of great circular room of Late Republican era, covered in marble and mosaics, represent one of the first experiments that preceded creations such as the Pantheon in Rome; the spa of Sosandra, from the name of statue (now at National Archaeological Museum in Naples) identified as a copy of the Greek original Aphrodite Sosandra by Kalamis, develops across terraces laid out spectacularly with an underlying portico, an intermediate theatre-nymphaeum, an upper residence; the spa of Venus, centered aroud the great spa hall with its semi-cupola ceiling, with several rooms at the North side well-known for the refined stucco decoration.
The "Temple of Diana", slightly to the north of the spa park, was the last of the Baia rooms to be roofed with a cupola: a circular space inscribed in a octagon.
The name was given because of a series of marble reliefs with animal figures.
The Piscina Mirabilis, situated in Miseno, up on a little hill, is the greatest monument to survives.
A colossal tank set at the extremity of the great Augustan Serino aqueduct, built to ensure a water supply for the numerous "Classis Misenensis", become "Classis Praetoria Misenensis", the most important fleet of the Roman Empire.
A 70 metres trench dug into the tuff, 25 metres wide and support by four rows of pillars, the cistern can hold in excess of 12.000 cubic metres of water.
Today the enorm empty space is silent, illuminated by light filtering from the vegetation on the vaults, hauntingly magical.
Two cisterns, set one over the other, constitute a fascinating complex known as the "Cento Camerelle": this may be reffered to the villa of Hortensius, certainly one of the most sumptuous of Baia, which then passed to the Emperor Nero, and in the past were also indicated as the "Carceri di Nerone" (Jails of Nero).
The upper cistern is a square plan structure, dug partially from the tuff and partially constructed, divided into four naves by three rows of pillars; the lower cistern is a complex network of crisscrossing tunnels dug into the tuff.
Baia, Via Fusaro 37 (location Bacoli - Naples)
All days from 9.00 to one hour before sunset
1 January, 1 May and 25 December closed
EUR 4,00 Adults
EUR 2,00 for European Union members between 18 and 25 years old
(valid 2 days for 4 sities: Archaeological Museum of the Phlegraean Fields in Baia, Archaeological Park of Baia, Flavian Amphitheatre, Temple of Serapis - Serapeo - in Pozzuoli and Archaeological Ruins of Cuma)
Free Entrance for European Union members under 18 and over 65 years old
Free Entrance with Campania Artecard
Ticket office close one hour before closing time
The Archaeological Park of Baia is a site of CAMPANIA ARTECARD circuit
How you can get there from the Hotel
From the Piazza Amedeo Station take line 2 on the subway, in the direction of Gianturco, and get off in Montesanto (fist stop); proceed by Cumana train (Naples-Torregaveta line) from terminus in Piazza Montesanto (at 100 metres from the subway Station) and get off at Baia stop; proceed on foot using the stairs which start from Piazza De Gasperi for about 50 metres: the Archaeological Park of Baia is in Via Fusaro 37.