The majestic Terme di Caracalla, location of events and shows.
The Terme Antoniane - better known as Terme di Caracalla - are one of the great examples of the Roman imperial baths, still in good conditions, without any more recent building nearby. They work commission it by the emperor Settimio Severo on the Piccolo Aventino, and inaugurated last 10 years later, in 216 A.D. It surely is the biggest baths establishment, until the Terme di Diocleziano - inaugurated about one century later, in 306 A.D. Today, the complex is part of a very interesting museum circuit, together with the tomb of Cecilia Metella and the house of Quintili’s. In 2014, it was the 22nd most visited Italian historical site, by more than 250 thousand tourists, to visit the wonders near the Appia Antica.
The story of the Terme di Caracalla
According to some historical sources, the baths were commissioned by Settimio Severo in 206 and inaugurated by his son Caracalla in 216, a few times before the works were finished. The external part of the building was made by his successors Eliogabalo and Alessandro Severo. The impressive baths complex took the water directly from one of the Acqua Marcia aqueduct branches, passing over via Appia, on the Arco di Druso. The baths were restored many times after their inauguration, until they finally got finished in 537, when the king of the Goths, Vitige, the aqueduct the city used to bring water to the Roman citizens, trying to conquer the capital of the empire. After centuries of dereliction, the Terme where discovered again in the 16th century, when many statues where found, nowadays part of the Farnese collection. The Roman engineers responsible of the creation of the enormous complex plant inspired themselves to the elegant Terme di Traiano on the Esquilino hill, representing the model of the Imperial Rome thermal baths structure.
The wide external quadrangular enclosure surrounds the garden and the main body of the building, the toilets and the gyms. The entire complex measures approximately 330 metres per side, with a rectangular plant, whose long side is 220 metres long. Its orientation was object of peculiar studies, as it was for the Terme di Traiano, exploiting the sun exposition. The calidarium was situated in the southern side, lighted by big windows, coming out the main structure. The thermal complex was equipped with a big labyrinth of underground lanes, where are the services where situated, in order the employees could manage the baths without being seen by the visitors. One of them, under the north-western exedra, hosted a mythraeum, the biggest of Rome.
There are many works of art found in the building during the various excavations, such as the sculptures of Flora, Taurus and Hercules, today in the archaeological museum of Naples. The polycrome mosaic representing 28 athletes, found at the beginning of the 19th Century, in one of the gyms and actually stored in the Vatican museums is very beautiful. The digs gave back some important pieces, such as statues of Antonini, Venus and Minerva, two maenads and a vestal, together with last important works.
The Terme di Caracalla, excellent location for shows
Do you know how many people could be contained in the Terme di Caracalla? Until 1500, thanks to many big and luxurious areas The written sources tell about grey marble columns, floor made of Eastern coloured marbles, decorative stuccoes created by the best artists of the empire, mosaics and hundreds of statues, situated in recesses decorated by frescoes, on the world of the coroner's and the open air areas. Spectacular and luxurious location in the past, today it is an excellent place, perfect to host music and theatre events. This is the main use of Terme di Caracalla, welcoming the best of the international music - provided by Teatro dell’Opera -, every summer since 1937.
The Terme di Caracalla have an outstanding fascination that makes it perfect for shows by the most Italian and European prestigious companies. Among new productions and classics, some of the best theatre shows have taken place there the Carmen by Georges Bizet, directed by Valentina Carrasco, the Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi, and the Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi, directed by Federico Grazzini, music by Roberto Rizzi Brignoli.
Also many theatre show took place there, by some artists such as Franco Battiato, Roberto Bolle, Ennio Morricone, Neil Young, Lionel Richie, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, Tito Gobbi, Mario Del Monaco, Alfredo Kraus, Placido Domingo, Franco Corelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Ferruccio Scaglia, Ottavio Ziino, Giuseppe Patané, Franco Capuana, Zubin Mehta e Ludovico Einaudi. And did you know that one of the most famous scenes of Paolo Sorrentino’s movie La Grande Bellezza took place there? Just surrounded by those walls, Jep Gambardella - the protagonist of the movie - walks confused around the Complex, where he meets a giraffe that disappears by magic.
For this location we recommend The Inn At The Roman Forum, a luxury residence in the center of Rome with a modern design.