Rome's Sunken Secrets

Rome's Sunken Secrets


Back in ancient Rome, when the rulers and shakers wanted to kick back and get away from the city, they headed south to the Bay of Naples and the holiday resort of Baiae. It sounds like a fun place: as one historian here says, “It was absolutely a place of pleasure and debauchery.” The emperor Nero was a frequent visitor, but also plotted his mother’s murder here.

Its very position led to Baiae’s downfall: not far from Pompeii, it’s part of a hugely active geological area, and by the end of the Roman era, 50 per cent of it had sunk beneath the waves of the Bay. But there’s still plenty to see, as archaeologists and divers seek to understand this ancient landscape of luxurious villas, sunken statues and extravagant architecture.


Documentary exploring the underwater ruins of Baiae, an ancient Roman city located in the modern-day Bay of Naples, which in its time was an exclusive retreat for the wealthiest and most influential of the empire's citizens. A team of historians and volcanologists examine the relics that have been uncovered from the city and investigate the reasons why it sank. Baiae was located in a volcanic landscape, which provided a supply of hot water and steaming sulphur baths - but also led to the city's destruction.

Cast & Crew

Director Stuart Elliott
Executive Producer Richard Bradley
Executive Producer Caterina Turroni
Executive Producer Raffaele Brunetti