Terme di Caracalla: how to buy tickets online

Rome is a veritable open-air museum for lovers of ancient history: from its legendary foundation, the Romans turned it into the capital of an empire. Many structures from the public life of the period have been well preserved to this day and still form part of the urban fabric of Rome. Just think of the Colosseum, the Imperial Forum, the Baths of Caracalla or the Circus Maximus. The latter two are also used for large events and, if going there for a concert or a show is a unique and evocative experience, visiting them for the function they had in Roman times will allow you to discover more about the history of the eternal city.

Ingresso alle Terme di Caracalla

The entrance ticket for the Baths of Caracalla can be easily purchased online and shown from your smartphone. It will allow you to skip the queue and independently visit this 25-hectare complex where the Romans went to bathe, meet and play sports. Everyone knows the song that says ‘at the Baths of Caracalla the Romans played ball’ and that’s right: the baths were a place of leisure, relaxation and socialisation.

The well-preserved Baths of Caracalla give a vivid idea of the use the Romans made of them and of their technical and engineering knowledge. In addition to the calidarium and frigidarium, the tepidarium, heated by a current of hot air that passed under the floor, is still visible.

They are the best preserved ancient baths in Rome, and this despite centuries of neglect: after construction in the early 3rd century AD, which began under Emperor Septimius Severus and ended under his son Caracalla, from whom they take their name, they were later used for residential and agricultural purposes.

Parts of the baths were later used for the construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome. It was only in the 16th century that they became a place of interest for archaeologists, who started the first excavations here with Pope Paul III. They have been open to the public since 1937, with an interruption during the Second World War and restoration between 1993 and 2003.

Visits to the Baths of Caracalla can be booked from Tuesday to Sunday (Monday is the closing day) and are open from 9am to 4.30pm. The last admission, also due to the size of the site, is an hour and a half before closing time.

Together with the online ticket, you will receive a code to use the Pemcards app: by taking a photo, the app will turn it into a postcard that you can send to your loved ones or keep.

The route does not have any differences in height and is therefore also accessible for wheelchairs or buggies, but remember not to bring suitcases or large bags. There is also a car park and toilets for visitors.

Finally, if you are no longer able to visit the Baths of Caracalla on the scheduled day, you will be able to reschedule your ticket or cancel it within the day before your reservation.

Guided tour of the Baths of Caracalla and Circus Maximus

To hear from an experienced archaeological guide what the function of these baths was in ancient Rome and their history, you can purchase a ticket for a guided tour of the Baths of Caracalla online.

The guided tour lasts one and a half hours and includes the Baths of Caracalla and the Circus Maximus, the largest structure for public games ever built in antiquity. According to legend, the Rape of the Sabine Women took place here, and it was the setting for the Roman Ludi, celebrations that lasted several days. The large capacity of the Circus Maximus is still used today for concerts and shows, as is the central part of the Baths of Caracalla, which hosts the summer season of the Rome Opera. Both sites have the advantage of being close to the city centre and the Circus Maximus in particular has a large green area around it.

For the guided tour, the meeting point is at the exit of the metro station ‘Circo Massimo’, in front of the FAO building. Visitors are provided with earphones to better hear the guide’s explanation, available in English, Italian, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

The absence of height differences makes the visit feasible even for wheelchair users and there is the possibility of organising small private groups of up to ten people.

As this is an open-air guided tour, it may be cancelled if there are unfavourable weather conditions: in this case, it is possible to request a full refund of the ticket or to reschedule the visit.

Online ticket for the Baths of Caracalla and Palazzo Merulana

You know, when travelling and on holiday it is not always easy to get everyone to agree. If you are visiting Rome with some contemporary art enthusiasts, a combination ticket for the Baths of Caracalla and Palazzo Merulana could be a meeting point.

The best-preserved ancient baths and Rome’s newest museum may seem like an odd pairing, but they will allow you to discover the city’s glorious past and the cultural ferment that is still alive today.

Palazzo Merulana, the former Bureau of Hygiene, now houses a collection of 20th century contemporary art, particularly rich in works of the so-called ‘Roman school’, an example of Italian expressionism.

The four floors display ninety works by 20th century artists, including Lucio Fontana and Giorgio De Chirico, but the spaces are also used for food and wine events and cultural activities. In addition to the terrace offering a wide-ranging panorama, the urban garden is also worth visiting.

To delve deeper into the period covered by the collection, it is possible to hire an audio guide (in English or Italian) directly on site. Again, a code for the Pemcards app is included in the ticket.

The museum is barrier-free and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., except Mondays and Tuesdays, with the last admission allowed one hour before closing time. Cancellation and ticket rescheduling are possible up to 23:59 on the day before the visit..

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