Tuesday, 2 March 2010

A Different View of Roman Architecture

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Also, Happy March!  I get excited about March because it starts to feel like the home-stretch.  I know we can still get cold and snow in April, but it's a little more rare, and I generally consider March to be the last of the truly wintry months.

After a couple of technical blog posts I thought I'd switch up to something a little more lighthearted in nature.  Graydyn provided the inspiration for today's post when he linked me to another blog by Bija Knowles, which can be found here:

You can immediately see why he thought I may be interested.  An opportunity exists here to visit Italy, view incredible Roman ruins, and get my scuba diving fix all in one shot!  Who could ask for more?

Essentially what we've got here is an area to the West of Napoli where old Roman towns once stood on the sea shore.  Through volcanic activity that I won't go into detail on those town eventually sunk into the sea.  Now a number of the buildings that made up these ancient towns can be found, intact at the bottom of the ocean.  What's really great about this is that in a lot of cases the towns didn't sink very far, and can be found in around 10m (33ft) of water.  There are certainly some dive sites in the more advanced 100ft realm, but it seems like there would be plenty to see even for a novice diver.  Apparently some of these ruins are even shallow enough to be viewed by snorkelers, or from a glass-bottom boat.

The Napoli Diving Center has a page setup describing the sites:

Seems to me like the hardest part of that whole trip would be trying to choose which of those fantastic sites you'd want to dive at.  Actually, the hardest part would be staying away from all that fantastic Italian red wine the night before a dive.

In actual fact there may be some downsides to this trip caused largely by the location.  I'd been told by a co-worker that Napoli is a rough city with a big crime problem.  I brushed this off as fear-mongering and a lack of sense of adventure, but the Wikitravel article on Napoli seems to partially confirm this when they state that "Naples is a gritty and in many parts impoverished city. Do walk around, but be watchful and keep your wits about yourself."  I know that doesn't sound bad, but keep in mind that nobody on Wikitravel has ever said anything worse than that, so that may be considered a truly terrifying review.

So, any of you ever been to Naples?  I'd really like a second (actually, make that third) opinion on this one.  Or am I just going to have to brave it myself and let the rest of you know how it goes?  I suppose that's my job as the blogger here.

Have a good week everyone, I'll see you next Tuesday.


Jabbles said...

Any idea when you would be going there or is it just on the list for now?
It does sound like it would make for some great diving. The only thing about it for myself is that once I don't think I could really appreciate it as a vacation.
What I mean by this is if you go there for the diving then how much time/energy do you have to explore the country? I think for me personally, I would have to plan this for no more than a day or two depending on the overall vacation length.
Of course this is from the perspective of someone who has not yet scuba dived.

Colin Young said...

Yeah, for now it's just something that's interesting to me. I like to point out these fun places on the blog, and I'd always keep it in mind as a vacation destination, but for now there are no immediate plans to head that way. I'm actually on a real kick right now to explore a bit more of our own backyard. Our next vacation is down to the North Carolina, and I'd like to spend a bit of time traveling more in Canada and the US. Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't continue to be intrigued by destinations like Napoli.

I can definitely say from experience that unless you just do diving as a day-trip that it would turn into a scuba vacation. The diving can take a lot out of you, and if you do two or three dives in a day you're not going to have a lot of energy left for anything else. I suppose that the decision of whether to do a diving day-trip or a whole scuba vacation would really come down to how keen you are on diving versus how interested you are in everything else going on in the area you're visiting.

Aunt J. said...

From what I've read, there are underwater cities all around the Mediterranean (eg. Greece, Italy, etc.) and even Japan.
What a different concept -- seeing history underwater sounds fastinating.