"Baths of Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla) - Opera Theater - Caracalla Baths" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 17th July 2011
These baths were begun by Septimius Severus in 206 and were finished by his son Antoninus Caracalla in 216. The model for it served the baths of Trajan. Nevertheless the works over this complex construction continued till Alexandrus Severus and restoration works till Theodorus. The baths were rich with the works of art and apart from the baths contained the gyms, libraries, entertainment programs and a stadium for sport competitions. Terme di Caracalla were the 2nd by the size after the Terme di Diocletiano. The baths were fed by a branch of the Acqua Marcia, an aqueduct built specially for this purpose in 212-217.
Roman citizens had free access to the baths, which could accommodate some 1600 bathers at one time (men and women bathed nude, but separately and at different times of the day). The baths were abandoned after the Goths destroyed the aqueduct supplying them with the water in the 6th century.
On the two sides of the central body there are a series of rooms placed in a specular way, divided by the rooms arranged on the central axis, constituted by the calidarium, the hot water tub, the tepidarium, a basilican room and the big cold water pool (natatio) with which the baths ended. The entrance was close to the pool, then the people went to the dressing room (apodyterium) and then to a big gymnasium that was connected to various rooms with tubs. Then, the calidarium was reached, a large circular room that had a cupola roof ; the big windows let the sun warm the temperature from morning to sunset.
In the centre of the Caracalla Thermal Baths there must have been a circular tub while smaller ones were between the pillars that held the cupola. It was possible to follow the same itinerary up to the hot water tub coming from the opposite side of the building, which was exactly identical.The underground of the thermal baths is very interesting, there are many rooms where all the services were taken care of in order to have everything function perfectly, in one of these rooms a mitreo was installed, the biggest one in Rome. During the excavation, since the XVI century, many works of art were found, like the three famous sculptures "farnesiane" (the bull, the flora, and Hercules) which are now in the National Museum in Naples and the two big granite pool which are now in Piazza Farnese in Rome.
All the zone was abandoned in the 10th century and the baths became an endless source of building material, as well as numerous decorations were taken away and decorate now different places of Italy, like for example two big granite basins adapted for the fountains in front of Palazzo Farnese in Rome. Since1937 to 1993 Opera Theater - Caracalla Baths (Teatro dell'Opera - Terme di Caracalla) performances were given here in the summer.
The Baths of Caracalla/ Caracalla Thermal Baths (Terme di Caracalla) are one of the rare cases where it is possible to reconstruct, albeit only partially, the original decorative scheme. The internal and external walls were faced in polychrome marble. The rooms and gardens were decorated with statues in marble and bronze. The Vatican museum displays various examples of these works. Notable are: 'Il Toro Farnese', 'La Flora', 'Il Torso Belvedere', as well as two large mosaics.
Note: Access is limited to certain areas to avoid damage to the mosaic floors, although such damage is already clearly visible. Also, a total of 22 well-preserved columns from the ruins are found in the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, taken there in the 12th century.
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Baths of Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla)
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 52
00153, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Celio (Terme di Caracalla) (Roma centro)
Baths of Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla) is Shown By "Map K Zone" As "84"
Public transportation: Bus: 118 – 160 – 628, Metro: Linea B, Circo Massimo stop.
Hours: Opening hours from 8.30 am to one hour before sunset (Good Friday 8.30 am – 2.00 pm). Last admission 1 hour before closing time. January 2 - February 15: 8.30 am - 4.30 pm, February 16 to March 15: 8.30 am - 5.00 pm, March 16 - last Saturday of March: 8.30 am - 5.30 pm, Last Sunday of March - August 31: 8.30 am - 7.15 pm, September 1 to September 30: 8.30 am - 7.00 pm, October 1 - Last Saturday of October: 8.30 am - 6.30 pm, Last Sunday of October - December 31: 8.30 am - 4.30 pm, Closed: January 1, December 25.
Entrance: Full price: € 6,00, Reduced: € 3,00 for European Union citizens ages 18 to 24 and for European Union teachers. Free: for European Union citizens 17 and under and 65 and over. Appian Way ticket: single ticket valid 7 days at 3 sites (Baths of Caracalla, Villa of the Quintilii, Mausoleum of Caecilia Metella).
Visit Caracalla Thermal Baths (Terme di Caracalla) Website: http://www.archeorm.arti.beniculturali.it/en/archaeological-site/baths-c...
Visit Opera Theater - Caracalla Baths (Teatro dell'Opera - Terme di Caracalla): http://www.operaroma.it/