Italians are known for their passion, their enthusiasm, their joie de vivre. This love of food, wine, art, romance and indulgence feels deeply ingrained in the modern Italian’s being, a genetic thread that runs through the country’s citizens. And where does this inherent hedonism come from? One can surely point to the ancient Italian city of Baia as one of the epicenters of Italian culture. Originally called Baiae and located on the Gulf of Naples, Baia served as an ancient Ibiza for the most elite and notable Romans during the Roman Empire. As a coastal town with a nearby volcano that created natural hot springs through the area, it was the perfect spot for emperors to unwind (and get into trouble). Roman engineers harnessed the hot springs’ healing effects for saunas and bath houses. The Romans built casinos and visitors hosted beachfront bacchanals that lasted all night long where the wine flowed and food was abundant. It was a party town in the purest sense, though it never attained legal municipal status.