Baths of Caracalla : Michelin's recommendations
After Agrippa, Nero, Titus and Trajan, it was Carcacalla's turn to build public baths, in 212. A.D. Covering 11 ha; these were the biggest baths ever seen in Rome and only to be surpassed by the future Baths of Diocletian. The exterior was rather sober, but the interior was richly decorated: with marble and mosaic floors, walls covered in mosaics and adorned with gilded stuccoes, while the porphyry and granite columns mixed with white marble capitals and daring vaults rose to 30-m heights. One could say that the 1,600 bathers were spoilt ! Also, apart from such physical pleasures (combined with trips to neighbouring brothels), they could add intellectual pleasure, via the available libraries, that our modern swimming-pools persistently lack. On your visit, you can see an oval room, called laconicum, then, the gymnasium (mosaic fragments on floors and walls), apodyterium (changing room) and natatio (swimming baths). From there, you'll make your way to a second changing room, then another gymnasium (more beautiful mosaics)... However, you can only see the caldarium, a vast (34 m in diameter), round room, and adjoining tepidarium, in Summer. Operas are then given there and the atmosphere is magical.