The Baths of Caracalla in Rome (in Italian: Terme di Caracalla) are an ancient Roman thermal spa complex, spread on a vast area in a tranquil part of the city. It’s a huge archeological park where you can explore the ruins of the well-preserved walls, vaults and beautiful mosaics.

Using imagination you will recreate in your mind the atmosphere of luxury lifestyle that was led in this complex of baths in the antiquity, during its time of great splendour. To give the baths their right value it is necessary to bear in mind how progressive they were at their times. They provided cleanliness, hygiene and body care to the general population. But that’s not all – they were also a space to socialize in comfort and luxury – just like in today’s spas. What is most interesting though, is that they were free and open to Romans from all social classes and statuses.

History of the Baths of Caracalla

Baths of Caracalla in Rome - ancient spa complex

Baths of Caracalla in Rome – ancient spa complex

In the year 216, on the orders of Emperor Marco Aurelio Bassiano – who after his death was called Caracalla – this bath complex was inaugurated after 5 years of construction. Built on thermal springs, it provided a place to cool down on the hot Roman summers. More than just baths, it was a leisure centre for relax. The buildings were exquisitely decorated, showing off the prestige of the Roman empire.

The bathers had almost all the comforts we have nowadays: changing rooms, two gyms, a room with high temperatures, rooms for cold and hot baths, an outdoor pool, taverns, shops, even a library (!), beautiful gardens and lounges for relax.

In 537, the ravages of the war with Ostrogoths caused the destruction of the water channels, forcing the cease of using the baths. Much later, in the year 847, an earthquake sealed the faith of the complex, turning the buildings into ruins.

The Baths of Caracalla today

Nowadays, the Baths of Caracalla are sometimes used as a stage for cultural events, taking advantage of their majesty and secluded space surrounding them. In particular, in the summer they host the Rome Opera and other concerts.

If you want to visit this impressive ancient spa complex, it is open to the public every day – see the opening times below.

  • Schedule: Tue - Sun: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm; Mon: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Address: Viale Delle Terme Di Caracalla, 52, 00153, Roma

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