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'Underwater Pompeii' of Baia featured in documentary

History Channel reconstruction uses computer graphics, 3D images

'Underwater Pompeii' of Baia featured in documentary

Naples, April 20 - A new History Channel Italy documentary called "Baia, The Underwater Pompeii", that showcases the enormous underwater archaeological site of ancient Baiae, premiered at the Aragonese Castle in Baia on Wednesday. The documentary, directed by Stuart Eliott, was made with the support of the Region of Campania, and uses computer graphics and 3D imaging to reconstruct the ancient city on the Gulf of Naples as it would have looked 2,000 years ago. The surface area of the archaeological site is three times larger than that of Pompeii, and it was from here that Roman emperors governed and where many had their residences built. Days-long feasts took place at the villas of Baiae, such as at the Villa dei Pisoni, owned by Roman senator Gaius Calpurnius Piso who in 65 AD directed the Pisonian conspiracy against the Emperor Nero. Piso's villa, which is today underwater, was rebuilt by the Emperor Hadrian to be even more decadent than its predecessor. The entire underwater park offers the wonder of wandering through submerged roads decorated with columns and mosaics crystallised by the water. Tourists can explore the underwater park through tours with some local diving centres, including the Centro Sub Flegreo, which worked with the BBC on a previous documentary. The new documentary will contribute to tourism in Naples and the Campania region, according to regional Governor Vincenzo De Luca. He said there has been an "explosion of events, cultural offerings, and extraordinary promotion" in the region over recent months. "It's truly difficult for me to imagine another region with the same cultural vivacity and range of interests as in Naples and Campania nowadays," De Luca said. photo credit: An image of the Baiae site (Pasquale Vassallo - Centro sub Campi Flegrei)

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