Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Baths of Caracalla

Even the ancient Romans had trouble with the heat of Rome in summer. Part of their everyday routine was a visit to the baths to exercise, relax and socialize. There were several very prominent bath complexes located throughout the city, but none are as well-preserved as the Baths of Caracalla. The Baths were completed in 216 CE by 9,000 people working for 5 years under the emperor Caracalla. The grand scale of the arches and communal rooms inspired the architects of the New York firm McKim, Mead and White in their design of the original Penn Station. Today you can visit the Baths from 9:00 am until 1 hour before sunset (on Mondays 9:00 am until 2:00 pm). In the summertime, be sure to catch an outdoor opera performance. In June of 2008 the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma summer season will include George Bizet's Carmen.

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