The Caracalla Baths represent the most imposing and best preserved ancient Roman public bath complex, one of the places to visit in Rome. The building was started by Emperor Caracalla at the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. and then completed by his successors Elagabalo and Alessandro Severo. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Goths destroyed the aqueduct carrying water to the baths and so they were abandoned. Our itinerary includes the visit of the entire complex: the apodyteria (dressing rooms), the gymnasiums, and then calidarium (hot bath), tepidarium (warm bath), frigidarium (cold bath) to finish at the natatio (swimming pool). It was in these state-of-the-art facilities that the ancient Roman men and women took care of their bodies. Going to the baths was also a social event.
There, they could meet and chat with friends, walk in the gardens surrounding the complex, read a book in the library and also do some shopping or enjoy a sport competition. Our tour continues on the “Regina Viarum” (Queen of the roads), the ancient Appian Way, laid out in 312 B.C. by censor Appius Claudius, after whom it was named. The road first linked Rome to Capua and then it was extended to Beneventum, Taranto and finally to Brindisi, the gateway to Greece and the eastern provinces, the richest ones of the Empire.
Along the Appian Way you will see ancient inscriptions, monumental tombs of rich and noble families like the mausoleum of Cecilia Metella, an imperial villa with a circus, and then churches, like the little Domine Quo Vadis, medieval turrets built on top of ancient remains. Finally, you will walk along a portion of the road that has preserved its original ancient paving.