Old photographs of the Nemi ships

Here are some photographs that I found online about the massive pleasure barges of Caligula, excavated from Lake Nemi during the 30s, on the orders of Mussolini, placed in a “Museum of Roman navigation” by him, and then destroyed in 1944 during the fighting.  Worth looking at… and feeling sad about.


There were two barges, each in its own museum.  I’m not sure which is which in these photographs.

The hull of this one seems deeper.


The same image, with some processing, I think.


Visitors queue to see the immense hulk.


In the museum.


End on.


A side shot of the bow.


Really very deep hull, this.


Mussolini comes with his Fascists to open the museum.  Little did he know…

6 thoughts on “Old photographs of the Nemi ships

  1. Were they well documented? (Drawn, measured, described?) I hope at least some such survives, as well as these wonderful photos!

    If they were destroyed in 1944, then the Germans were calling the shots, with Mussolini in their ‘liberating’ hands.

  2. Is that in A Traveller in Rome (1957)? What a thing to do! Purely vicious or spiteful? Or to cover his retreat, expecting the conscientious pursuers to battle a fire?

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