Decorations from the Ships of Nemi

National Roman Museum Palazzo Massimo alle Terme

These are decorations in bronze from the legendary “ships of Caligula”, actually floating platforms found in the lake at Nemi. The legend of these ships made its way from the First Century through the Middle Ages. During the Renaissance, the first attempts at recovering them were made. After several smaller finds, in 1895 the two ships were located and between 1928 and 1932 they were brought to the surface using draining techniques. A fire in 1944, probably set by the Germans, destroyed them forever.