Case Study D: Baia

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Area Workgroup Naples D: Baia
Place Naples
Country Italy
Topics Rationale, Coastal Typology, Land use development, Green and Blue Infrastructure, Power map, Sacred Spaces and Heritage, Landscape Narrative
Author(s) Panaitescu A., Lungu D., Cairo M., Aquino L., Jayalath S., Miraldi A., Passaro A., Ali A.
Baia Maps Limit.png


Underwater Heritage: History and nature are merged in both, earth and sea. However, Baia¿s interest is focused on tourism, not fully in the preservation of the site. If this continues, with only investment on the tourism infrastructure without and Investment of Landscape Preservation+Heritage Conservation Baia’s days might be in a countdown already.

Location and scope

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A Landscape System Analysis

A.1 Landscape layers and their system context

Geomorphology, landscape units and coastal typology

  • Coast of Baia, is a dramatic landscape in terms of forces of nature, throughout the history. Seldom volcanic activities and frequent waves of the ocean (basically) have been shaped the coast today with a unique composition of relatively young and old physical matter. (Figure 1) . Due to immediate high ground associate with the coast of Baia defined by the waves of land, ‘coastal effect’ have been limited to a narrow ‘landstrip’ relative to a typical coast. And with the act of the rich humid wind, greenery have been covered the facade of those elevated landforms. And these walls are a combination of Caldera rims and Major,Minor Faults. So the drama will continue as above geomorphological terms describes themselves.

  • add 1-2 graphical representations to the image gallery, you can add more if you like

Land use

  • settlements, infrastructure, agriculture, resource extraction, natural areas, energy production...
  • description of evolution, status quo and driving forces, is the land use likely to change? Why is that? (approx 200 signs)
  • add 1-2 graphical representations to the image gallery, you can add more if you like

Green/blue infrastructure

  • What are the major potential elements of a green/blue infrastructure network? Are these likely to change/disappear? Why is that?
  • You find my background material on green infrastructure in our reading list
  • add 1-2 graphical representations to the image gallery, you can add more if you like

Actors and stakeholders

  • Who is driving changes in this landscape? Who is affected by those changes?

Baia is under control of different administrative sectors in different phases, for example decisions made by Campania region, province Napoli or Bacoli municipality has major or minor action on Baia and it’s locality. Both the Tourists and the inhabitants simultaneously affects and get affected by any change in policy. Uneven empowering of one sector may affect positively or negatively the future of this unique heritage site. UNESCO and UN Habitats may play a vital role in bringing balanced solution. Ministry of cultural Heritage and Archaeology department have power to let people know about the history and morphology of the site and how to protect it.

  • Draw a stakeholder and/or power map: Who is affected highly but with low power? Who has high power but is not affected?

Sacred spaces and heritage

  • Which places/elements hold cultural value and to whom?

The territory of Bacoli was founded by the ancient Romans and it is an environmental landscape of exceptional historical value, today the remains of the cisterns of Cento Camerelle, the Grotta of Dragonara and the cistern of Piscina Mirabilis, which constitute the terminal tank of one of the main Roman aqueducts.

Another important historical heritage is the Archaeological Park of Baia, organized on terraces called Terme of Baia (Fig.1). The complex is presented as a series of residences consisting of separate architectural nucleus, organized on different levels of terracing and connected by stepped ramps. Lying towards the sea is the "Villa dell'ambulatio" equipped with a series of terraces connected by a complex of stairs, the last of which leads to the "Mercury sector". The "Temple of Sosandra" is bordered by two parallel staircases. The entire complex originally had marble or black and white mosaic floors.

The lowering of the ground below sea level, due to bradyseism, occurred between the 7th and 8th centuries AD, submerged Baia (Fig.2). Among the most significant remains are some vaulted structures like the great Temple of Diana, the Temple of Mercury and Temple of Venus, it is in any case thermal structures and not places of worship, for which however the popular denomination has survived.

The Temple of Diana which originally defined a large room where vapors from the ground below were collected, was characterized by a colossal ogival dome, now half collapsed. The building was used for thermal purposes and was decorated with marble friezes depicting hunting scenes.

The Temple of Venus rises on the quay of the port of Baia, dated to the Hadrian age. The plant is circular on the inside and octagonal on the outside. It is believed that the monument was part of the thermal plant although today it is no longer possible to grasp this identity because of the modern road. It can be visited simply by locating it among the houses and approaching it.

The Temple of Mercury Also called "truglio" from its circular shape, the building was a frigidarium that is used for cold baths. From the descriptions made of it in the eighteenth century it appeared to be composed of six niches, four of which are semi-circular. The circular vault, equipped with a central lumen, was made with large flakes of tuff shaped like a wedge.

The Aragonese Castle (Fig.3) rises in Baia, a hamlet of Bacoli, and is situated in an area of considerable strategic importance, it was erected on a 51 m promontory naturally defended by a high tuff cliff and by the deep depression given by the caldera of two called volcanoes " Fondi di Baia "with the addition of walls, ditches and drawbridges, the castle was practically impregnable. Its position allowed a very wide control of the area, preventing so much the approach of enemy fleets. Due to its central position relative to the main archaeological sites of the Phlegraean Fields the castle of Baia was chosen as the site of the Archaeological Museum of the Phlegraean Fields.

Along the coast, there are religious monuments such as the Church of San Sossio, the Church of S. Maria del Riposo, the Church of S. Anna Gesù and Maria and the Church of San Gioacchino.

The particularity of the territorial morphology and the phenomenon of bradyseism make the area very interesting for tourists.

  • You may add a map and some images, please also explain in your caption why these elements are valuable

Visual appearance and landscape narrative

  • Which elements are essential for the landscape character?

The landscape is defined by two elements: The Archeological Park and The Aragonese Castle of Baia. The first-mentioned element includes the "Terme di Baia", an antique ensemble which functioned as a thermal resort. Due to its vicinity to Naples, a great urban attractor, Baia has been a secondary center of interest in the area. However, throughout history, it has gone from a small village to a fashionable thermal resort in Antic Roman Republic. Between 100 BC and 500 AD it was well-known for its hedonistic atmosphere and it was better-preferred over area as Pompeii, Capri or Herculaneum.

Aside from its historical and architectural value, The Castle of Baia enriches the landscape by its position - on an upper side of the land - highlighting the natural surroundings."

  • Has the landscape been painted or otherwise depicted, when and whom? Which elements are essential?

In painting, Baia is related to the greek and roman mythology. An often pictured subject is the meeting of Apollo and Cumaean Sibyl near the bay of Baia. Cumaen Sibyl is the best known of the 10 sibyls – a “sibyl” is a prophetess, most of the times associated with a particular location. Even though she lived in a cave near the town of Cumae, close to the temple of Apollo, both of them are pictured near the bay of Baia.

Two painters who have approached this subject are Claude Lorraine - a baroque painter - and William Turner in his romantic manner. Each of them, in their own way, chose to paint the mythological story behind Baia. In the case of Turner, mythology itself is a common theme of Romanticism.

The Phlegraean (which includes Baia) area was a key subject for local and foreign painters since the 19th century. The italian painter, Giacinto Gigante has made many paintings inspired by the beautiful landscape of Baia.

  • Which narratives exist? Who has written about this landscape or depicted it in some way?

The lost wonders of Baia were a common feature of Romantic poetry. It appears in John Keats's "Ode to May" and in the third stanza of Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind". The vanished columns of the ancient town inundated by the sea is the central conceit of Konstantin Batyushkov's 1819 "You awake, oh Bayya, from the tomb...", "one of his last and finest poems".

The "princely" seaside resort of the empire appears in J. Meade Falkner's 1895 novel The Lost Stradivarius and Anatole France's 1902 "Procurator of Judea" (Le Procurateur de Judée). In current fiction, it is the setting of Caroline Lawrence's Sirens of Surrentum; John Maddox Roberts's Under the Shadow of Vesuvius; Steven Saylor's 1992 Arms of Nemesis, set during the Spartacus Rebellion; and Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian.

In the Ecce Romani series of Latin textbooks, Baia is the location of the character Gaius Cornelius Calvus's summer villa.

A forgotten Baia tunnel complex features prominently in the UK series called Forbidden History, whereby the presenter visits a supposed grotto of the Cumaean Sibyl.

Beside the cultural references, there are many tales of intrigue associated with Baia. Rumour has it that Cleopatra escaped in her boat from Baia after Julius Caesar was murdered in 44BC, while Julia Agrippina plotted her husband Claudius’ death at Baia so her son Nero could become emperor of Rome.

Mineral waters and a mild climate first attracted Rome’s nobility to Baia in the latter half of the 2nd Century BC, and the town was known to them as the Phlegraean (or ‘flaming’) Fields, so named because of the calderas that pockmark the region.

A.2 Summary of you landscape system analysis and your development Targets

A.3 Theory reflection

  • Reflect on at least three international policy documents in relation to their local landscape case
  • choose one international, one European and one national document
  • You can choose references from our reading list
  • Scope: 250 words

A.4 References

  • give a full list of the references you have used for this section

Visual appearance and landscape narrative









Phase B: Landscape Evaluation and Assessment

B.1 Assessment Strategy

  • GOALS:

Identifying the elements which have a double value – are both risks and potentials.Collecting data and processing it into relevant information. Therefor our mapped themes are archeological sites and natural protected areas

B.2 Mapping

  • As defined by your assessment strategy you conduct the mapping and present your findings here
  • As a minimum, at least three different themes need to be mapped, you may choose more if needed

B.3 Problem definition and priority setting

  • Give a summary of the major findings of your mapping process, what are the problems/potentials identified?

Our major priorities and targets regarding Baia area aim to protect and rehabilitate the Natural Protected Areas Polygon, but also to enhance the mobility and walkability within the city for tourtists and local adding green solutions.

B.4 Theory reflection

  • Please reflect the assessment and evaluation methods used based on at least three readings
  • Did you encounter limitations'
  • 200 words test contribution

B.5 References

- Google maps and Google street view of Baia city, Italy; Copyright@2019

- Section and perspective drawing by Amrita U., A., A.



Phase C – Strategy and Master Plan

C.1 Goal Setting

  • Through ages, walking under the coast

To reduce energy consumption, To make a balance in facilitating locals and tourists, To ensure better mobility, To encourage walkability and cycling, to take it to forward to a more green city, To connect the scattered heritage sites into a tourism channel

  • Link back to your original targets from section one and the Development Goals
  • 150 words text contribution

C.2 Spatial Strategy and Transect

  • translate your strategic goals into a vision
  • develop a spatial translation of your vision
  • exemplify your vision in the form of a transect with concrete interventions
  • add map(s) and visualizations

Based on the heritage-centered strategy, the main touristic and archeological attractions on Baia should be linked. In our attention was also reducing the energy consumption of car mobility in Baia and outside it, with nearby cities and villages. One of the proposed interventions is creating a pedestrian friendly route between Vanvitelliano Park and Baia Archeological Park, which would be enlivened by three new public spaces. Quality outdoor spaces are vital for rising the attractiveness of Baia for both tourists and inhabitants. This kind of interventions should also have a positive impact on the environment, encouraging pedestrian movement and reducing the use of motorized means of transport.

C.3 From Theory of Change to Implementation

  • Both the archaeology department and the Baia municipality together should work on to implement them?
  • Business people should realise the importance and emergence and the huge potential of heritage tourism for Baia, and they should stop random construction within this historical area. Local governance can encourage the people of the city to be more open with their green areas, and make the wine yards welcoming to the visitors so that the existing green infrastructure contribute in the tourism sector and growing economy through the local agriculture
  • Heritage should be protected and nature should be honoured and considered at any cost, both tourists and locals life should be balanced in the future plan of tourism for Baia city
  • Overall a mass awareness about the value the area and active sensitivity to protect it can be the best solution to all the current problems. Areas like should no more be focusing on industrialization or random construction, rather futuristic prudent approach to save the precious history can serve both the local and the guests of the city. To cope with the global climatic changes there is no alternate of emphasizing on existing green and blue infrastructure along with spreading awareness among people from all sectors.

C.4 References

  • give a full list of the references you have used for this section

Visual appearance and landscape narrative








D. Process Reflection

  • Reflect in your intercultural and interdisciplinary team on the outcomes of your study
  • Mostly the communication gap in different time zones. Also the lack of enough land use map in detail, the language barrier.
  • to manage things from afar and to work by taking responsibility when no one will be responding following own paths?
  • Each week we should fix a mandatory meeting online within a group which will be reported, otherwise, it's hard to gather scattered information about the group and each member's working progress?
  • You can also use diagrams/visuals
  • 250 words text