In 2009, ProMare, Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana, and the NATO Undersea Research Center of La Spezia (NURC) conducted a survey around Pianosa, part of Italy’s Tuscan archipelago, employing AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicle) for underwater archaeological exploration. Archaeological material on the seafloor was mapped utilizing a Remus 100 AUV. The team identified an underwater site near La Scola rock, discovering around 100 scattered amphoras from the 1st century B.C. – 3rd century A.D., possibly representing multiple shipwrecks or a dump site.



In March 2008, ProMare team, in collaboration with the NATO Underwater Research Center investigated a Roman merchant vessel.  The ship sunk off Elba Island’s coast, and dates to 50 BC – AD 50. An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) was used for mapping this 65 meters deep site, revealing a number of intact dolia (storage containers). In September 2008, a diverse team excavated a test trench, determining the site’s dimensions and dolia characteristics. The ship, likely from the Roman Republic-Imperial transition, carried wine to Gaul. This collaborative effort involving scientific, academic, and non-profit organizations sheds light on ancient maritime trade and provides insights into Roman-era seafaring and commerce.


In the summer of 2009, an underwater survey led by ProMare and SBAToscana explored the Le Formiche shipwreck site near Capraia Island, uncovering the remnants of a Roman merchant vessel. Artifacts recovered included amphoras, Campanian ceramics, and metal fasteners, suggesting a late second to early first century BC origin. The scattered artifacts amidst seagrass indicated obscured sections, prompting excavation beneath the roots. Comparative analysis linked the findings to a well-traveled maritime route frequented by similar vessels, supported by parallels with other shipwrecks along the central Italy to southern France route. Le Formiche adds to the understanding of ancient maritime trade routes and vessel types.


Ventotene, a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, served as a place of exile for prominent figures in Roman history. Augustus initiated the construction of a villa there, where his daughter Julia the Elder was later exiled. Subsequent exiles included Agrippina the Elder and Claudia Octavia, each leaving their mark on the island’s architecture. Notably, a fishpond, part of an imperial maritime complex, showcased Roman elite’s affinity for fresh saltwater fish. In 2008, ProMare sponsored the recovery of a statue from Ventotene’s fishpond, depicting a Roman magistrate. This artifact, symbolizing the island’s political exile history, is now under conservation at the local archaeological museum.


In 2009-2010, the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Calabria, led by Dr. Domenico Marino, collaborated with ProMare to explore Croton’s ancient coastline in southern Italy. Pliny the Elder’s descriptions hinted at an intricate coastline, later documented by historical figures like Piri Reis and Abbé de Saint-Non. The project aimed to uncover evidence of ancient habitation and coastal changes. Discoveries included submerged quarries with blocks dating back to the 6th century BC and artifacts suggesting human presence from the 3rd century BC. By 2010, enough data was gathered to propose a reconstruction of the ancient coastline, revealing its former extent 70m farther offshore.


In the summer of 2011, the ProMare team, along with professors and students from the University of Udine and Texas A&M University, excavated a Roman shipwreck in the Stella River, overseen by Prof. Luigi Fozzati. The river, once known as Anaxum, played a vital role in trade and transportation in Roman times, connecting to Aquileia, a major commercial hub. The ship, named Stella 1, dated back to the 1st century AD and carried Roman tiles, amphoras, tools, and personal items. The team meticulously recorded the ship’s construction details, using techniques including water dredging and 3D modeling, shedding light on ancient maritime trade networks.


In 2004, ProMare initiated an expedition to find the remains of 25 US Servicemen lost in 1945, after their DUKW amphibious truck capsized in Lake Garda, Italy, just before WWII ended. Despite their efforts, the site remained elusive until 2011 when a local volunteer group discovered the vehicle. ProMare, in collaboration with ICTINEU Submarins, returned in 2018 to document the wreckage using a manned submersible. The mission aimed to survey the sunken craft and locate associated artifacts, honoring the servicemen’s heroic efforts. This project not only commemorates their sacrifice but also assists local authorities in preserving this significant military grave site.