It’s a beautiful, sunny day in the small town of Monasterace on the Calabrian coast of Italy. The date is August 16th, 1972, and holidaymaker Stefano Mariottini is enjoying the final hours of his vacation. Snorkeling in the clear, blue waters of the Ionian Sea just south of the town, he spots something on the ocean floor that will write his name in the history books.
Italy is a country with a rich and colorful history. Having once ruled much of the western world, its cultural and artistic legacy is immeasurable. And let’s not forget the nation’s archaeological treasures. From the melancholy perfection of Pompeii and Herculaneum to the grandeur of Rome’s Colosseum, it’s fair to say that Italy’s buried past has provided a rich and enduring window into life in the ancient world.