Visit the Roman Baths!

The Romans were very clever people if you didn’t know already. They provided modern man with literally hundreds of ideas and concepts. They also saw value in taking a bath more than once a month! There were 170 baths in Rome during the reign of Augustus and by 300 A.D that number had increasd to over 900 baths. Really big swimming pools were only found in baths with natural springs. Many well-off Romans who had their own villas had their own small personal swimming pool. There were also baths for soldiers at permanent forts.

Some of the best preserved baths can still be found in Rome, (close to many Rome hotels and Rome apartments), perhaps because they were some of the most impressive. The Baths of Caracalla, said to be the most elaborate in all of Italy, functioned for over an outstanding 300 years and were built in 217AD, commissioned by Emperor Caracalla. Today the baths at Carcalla are simply ruins, but outstanding ruins at that, these baths must have been absolutely phenomenal when they were fully functional. Amongst other things, the building housed two gymnasiums and a public library with one room for Greek texts and another for Latin. Nowadays, the baths are used for open-air operatic concerts during the summer and staged the concert of the Three Tenors which ended the 1990 Italian World Cup. The baths can be reached from the metro stations Circo Massimo or Piramide, both on Linea B. It is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9am until one hour before sunset and on Monday morning from 9am-1pm.

Some of the very best baths were decorated inside with mosaics on the walls and floors, and marble lining the edges of the baths. The changing rooms were known as podyterium. In here a Roman would leave his clothes with his slave to guard. The bath house had many different rooms each with a special function including: the Tepidarium, Frigidarium, Caldarium and Furnace.

The Bath was more than just a place to wash or relax, the Bath was a major socializing venue, where you could meet important people and network. This meant that after enjoying a few hours or a whole day at the baths, snacks and drinks were available, or if you were feeling lavish, there were also bars, restaurants, shops and lounges. Here people would talk loudly, sing and gossip, it was the perfect place to see people in public and also to be seen. Similarly nowadays, after a wonderful day at the Roman baths, come home to some Rome accommodation to relax.

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