Terme di Caracalla
- Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 52
- 06 399 67 700
- incl Mausoleo di Cecilia Metella & Villa dei Quintili adult/reduced/EU child €6/3/free, audioguide €5
- 9am-1hr before sunset Tue-Sun, 9am-2pm Mon year-round
Lonely Planet review for Terme di Caracalla
To the southwest, Rome’s most monumentally huge ruins, the Terme di Caracalla show that size certainly mattered to the Roman emperors. Covering 10 hectares, this ancient leisure centre complex could hold 1600 people and included richly decorated caldaria (hot rooms), a lukewarm tepidarium, a swimming pool, gymnasiums, libraries, shops and gardens. Between 6000 and 8000 people were thought to have used them every day. Underground, slaves sweated in 9.5km of tunnels, attending to the centre’s complex plumbing systems. Begun by Antonius Caracalla and inaugurated in 217, the baths were used until 537, when the Visigoths smashed their way into Rome. Excavations in the 16th and 17th centuries unearthed important sculptures, many of which found their way into the Farnese family art collection.