Baths of Diocletian

Visit the greatest bath complex of Ancient Rome at the Baths of Diocletian.

Covering 13 hectares with a capacity of roughly 3000, the Baths of Diocletian were the largest, most impressive baths in Ancient Rome – and twice the size of the Baths of Caracalla.

Highlights

  • Wander through the interconnected halls of the largest bath complex in Rome.
  • Visit another of the works of Michelangelo in the Baths of Diocletian, in Michelangelo’s cloister.
  • Discover the history of the written word in the Museum of Written Communication, and marvel at 20,000 objects of ancient inscriptions.

Tickets & Prices

Discover which ticket into the Baths of Diocletian is best suited to you.

Baths of Diocletian Ticket

Guarantee your entrance into the Baths of Diocletian by buying a ticket online and reserving your place beforehand. This ticket grants you entrance into every corner of the ancient bath complex without having to wait in line at the ticket office.

Important Ticket Information:

  • Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm. The baths are closed on Mondays 
  • Last admission at 5pm
  • This ticket is valid for a single entrance
  • The ticket can be printed at home or shown on a mobile device
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Entrance to the other sites of the National Roman Museum are not included in the price 

National Roman Museum Combined Ticket

The Baths of Diocletian are one of the four historical sites that make up the National Roman Museum, the others are Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo and Crypta Balbi. If you purchase a combined ticket for the museum, you gain access to all four.

Important Ticket Information:

  • Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm
  • Last admission is at 5pm
  • Validity of the ticket is one week
  • You are allowed a single entrance into all but the Palazzo Massimo during the week, which allows two.
  • Wheelchair accessible

What to see and do 

The Baths of Diocletian were once the greatest in Rome. While much of the original structure has been destroyed, there is still plenty to see during your visit. This is what you can expect to find:

Great Halls of the Baths

Wander through the great halls of the baths, an interconnected complex modelled on the Baths of Caracalla, and admire both the scope of the ruins and the advanced plumbing left behind by the Romans (including underfloor heating!).

Though the baths, saunas and steam rooms were all present, these halls were more than just a bath complex. The Baths of Diocletian were more akin to an entertainment complex than a simple place for bathing; with libraries, theatres and gymnasiums all contained on the grounds. As you walk through the numerous halls of the site, you will see the remains of Roman craftsmanship and ingenuity everywhere you go.

The Natatio

Though much of the grandeur of the setting has been lost to time – and looting – you can still see the echo of the ornate decoration that would have lined the walls. 

The natatio was a colossal open-air swimming pool surrounded by high walls adorned with marble statues and towering columns. Today, these details are lost – but the sheer size of the space is enough to impress visitors regardless. In the 16th century, part of the huge space occupied by the natatio was used as the site for the small cloister of the Charterhouse.

The Charterhouse of Santa Maria degli Angeli

Built based on the drawings of Michelangelo, the Charterhouse was designed in accordance with monastic rules. It contained areas intended for communal living and seclusion, and an elegant small cloister.

Michelangelo’s Cloister

Like many works of Michelangelo’s in Rome, this cloister was actually built after his death. Using his design, construction of one of the largest cloisters in Italy began in 1565 and the upper floors weren’t finished until 1676.

Your eyes will immediately be drawn to the statues of colossal animal heads in the cloister, but the centre is marked by a rather more elegant dolphin fountain. You can see the centuries old ‘Cypress of Michelangelo’ among the cypresses that surround the fountain. One of the most interesting sights in the cloister is located near the entrance; the trompe-l’oeil door by Filippo Balbi (1885), depicting the Carthusian monk Fercoldo – the father of Pope Clement IV.

Museum of Written Communication

This museum, which was first opened in the 19th century, has one of the most impressive collections of inscriptions in the world. Boasting 20,000 items from people of all social stations in ancient times, the collection has everything from inscripted slave collars to household pottery. It offers fascinating insight into the history of writing itself, giving visitors the chance to see some of the earliest surviving examples of the written word.

Directions

The Baths of Diocletian are located on Viale Enrico de Nicola, 78, 00185, close to Termini train station. It is centrally located, and in walking distance from Rome’s most famous sites – the Trevi Fountain is 20 minutes away on foot.

You can easily reach the baths using public transport. The closest metro stop is Termini (Lines A and B), which is only a short walk away from the entrance. Several buses stop at the Termini/De Nicola bus stop, including 75, n92, nMB and nMB1.

Did you know that: (3 Interesting Facts!) 

  1. In ancient times, the baths could accommodate up to 3000 people at once.
  2. While we often think of a total collapse of Roman society after the fall of Rome in 476 AD, not everything was destroyed. The Baths of Diocletian were in use for almost a century afterwards.
  3. The Baths are located at the foot of the smallest of the seven hills of Rome, Viminal Hill.

History

Learn more about the largest bath complex in Ancient Rome in this timeline of its most important events:

  • 298 AD. The construction of the baths is commissioned by Maximian.
  • 298-306 AD. The Baths of Diocletian are constructed. 
  • Mid 6th century. A battle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy rages in the city, damaging the aqueducts that supply water to the baths. They are not fit for use after this incident and fall into disrepair.
  • 1561. Pope Pius IV commissions Michelangelo to build the Church and Charterhouse of Santa Maria degli Angeli on the grounds of the baths.
  • 1889. The National Roman Museum is created, encompassing Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo, Crypta Balbi and the Baths of Diocletian.
National Roman Museum, Baths of Diocletian map

Address: National Roman Museum, Baths of Diocletian, Viale Enrico de Nicola 78, 00185 Roma, Italy · view larger map

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