While looking through my guide-book and planning my trip to Rome, I spotted a little picture of the Baths of Caracalla. I had never heard of it before, but am a huge fan of things that are both huge and ancient (was going to make some kind of joke about my husband here, but I know my Mum reads the blog, so I won’t!), and knew I had to check it out.
When I finally found it, I was in awe of just how huge it was. Seriously, see how tiny I look sipping on my peach iced tea when I’m stood next to it!
Used from 217 till 546, the Baths of Caracalla were the largest in Rome. 2,000 people could use the baths at the same time, it included social areas, art galleries, libraries, brothels and exercise spaces. Every time I turned a corner, I was stood open-mouthed; amazed at the size and quite frankly awesomeness of the place.
I didn’t take the audio tour as there were some detailed information boards scattered around, giving the history and an idea of how the baths looked before they were ruined.
It seems Romans followed the same routine while they bathed… starting with a sweat bath, then a steam bath, before having their cool down and a cold plunge. These baths were free to use which makes me laugh when I think of how much we pay for a day at a spa (which is really very similar) nowadays.
A few of the original features were still there – which is fabulous when you think they are nearly 2000 years old!
I spent a lot longer than I thought I would taking it all in and enjoying the grounds – it did help that it was beautiful weather.