Ancient urban settlements, devastated by the ages, are scattered throughout Italy – a land of volcanoes and earthquakes, wars and domination. Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae, buried by the fury of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E., are just a few examples. Many cities that were once wealthy and populous then dramatically perished or gradually faded away, overwhelmed by nature or flattened by weapons. This book is a journey, along coasts and among mountains, touching upon Minturnae, Norba, Tharros, Motya, which helps the reader discover entire cities, with their streets, houses, baths, walls, places of worship and commerce, amphitheatres, and traces of history that have shaped our world and made us what we are.
Michele Stefanile is an underwater archaeologist at L’Orientale University in Naples, where he heads the Laboratory of Underwater and Naval Archaeology.