Underwater archeology, an added value of protected marine areas

ninfeo dell imperatore

The potential of Cultural Heritage as a tourist attraction is a fact, while the tourist potential of the rich underwater archeological heritage of Campania is still under development due to the lack of a basic logistic organization that enables operators in the “musealization” of the submerged site and accompanying visitors in an appropriate way.

The PMAs present in the Campania region are excellent for this type of tourist development: the Submerged Parks of Baia and Gaiola are born thanks to their archaeological characteristics, but the protected marine area of Santa Maria di Castellabate and the Kingdom of Neptune have the potential, thanks to the presence of important archaeological sites submerged, to develop an underwater archaeological tourism. The low shallow of submerged Roman structures and their proximity to the coast allow diving in total safety even for amateur divers. Adequate preparation of guides with teaching material can make this experience unique and engaging so that it also contributes to the spreading of the civic sense of protecting and safeguarding the underwater archaeological heritage in a world where hunting for the archaeological find is still widespread.

PMA Submerged Park of Baia
It can be considered the submerged archaeological area par excellence: Phlegrean Bradisism has submerged the ancient coastline by hiding roads, villas, thermal springs, ports and warehouses. There are already two underwater trails between the Villa dei Pisoni, the Villa in Protiro, the ninfeo of Claudio and Porto Giulio, but the extension of the site could give rise to numerous other routes to broaden and differentiate the tourist offer underwater.
PMA Submerged Park of Gaiola
The biological and archaeological aspects of this area are of paramount importance, unless the archaeological field is less valued for the complexity of its structures which are still underdeveloped. The marine area is occupied by the marine sector of the villa of Vedio Pollione, then became the Emperor Augusto and characterized by facilities for the fish farming and port facilities.
PMA Kingdom of Neptune
Recent archaeological undersea excavations are highlighting the Roman settlement of Aenaria, so far totally unknown, made up of port facilities and remains of a sea villa. The tourism potential of this submerged site located in Cartaromana Bay has now been widely tested with surface guided tours. The current visit (managed by Marina di Sant'Anna s.r.l.) offers a projection of a video on underwater excavations and a guided tour by boat from the transparent seabed.
PMA Santa Maria di Castellabate
The coastal stretch of the Castellabate MA in addition to the natural and landscape beauties also retains a rich submerged archaeological heritage that surely deserves to be valued and protected in the best way.
This territory within a few kilometers of coastline preserves any kind of monument or archaeological site that has relevance to the sea, a sort of small underwater archeology manual. Along the coast from Santa Maria di Castellabate, a series of very semi-circular regular areas document the exploitation of the sandstone bench for a quarry of mills and / or pillars.
The island of Licosa preserves the remains of a Roman villa, which is accompanied by a series of structures that can be traced back to a fish processing plant. But the most important monument is the Roman port of San Marco di Castellabate partly visible from the ground. This stretch of sea has also restored some thirty Roman anchors exhibited in the local Antiquarium along with other archaeological finds from these seabeds.

For the first time in Campania, with the tour “UN MARE DI CULTURA: TURISMO SUBACQUEO NELLE AREE MARINE PROTETTE CAMPANE” funded by the Region, the 6 Protected Marine Areas are tied with the aim to bring to the surface the archaeological heritage and underwater archaeological preserved within the PPMMAA to increase knowledge through the communication channels of the specialized press.



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  • Surface: 46 Kmq
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