Crumbling columns and skeletal structures in opus reticulatum; fading frescoes and musty mosaics – some of which have quite amazingly been left in tact; marble fragments and headless statues; an oculus said to predate that of the Pantheon; and an upside down fig tree; there are more than enough ruins and fascinations at Baia Archaeological Park to spark one’s imagination, to get a sense of what life was like in this Roman spa town.
All of the who’s who of the Roman world came here: Nero, Caesar, Caligula, Pliny, Virgil, Cicero and Horace just to name a few. They came here to avail themselves of the healing properties of Baia’s thermal springs and surely, of other delights as well.
Today, you can wander what remains of these remains, scattered across three terraces that amble down to the sea. The bay spreads out before, Baia Castle dominating the scene and in the foreground, the Temple of Venus that sits just outside of the complex, its mammoth dome lost to time.