Duration: 3 hours
Piazza della Repubblica, S. Maria degli Angeli, The National Roman Museum, Palazzo Massimo
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Piazza della Repubblica, also known as Piazza Esedra (from the former exedra of the baths of Diocletian) lies in a very central part of Rome, right next to Termini station. The area is packed with sites of archaeological interest (ruins of former constructions and museum collections). The Baths of Diocletian were the largest baths in ancient Rome. They boasted 2400 pools and could accommodate up to 3000 people at a time. Their shape resembled Caracalla’s Baths, but they were twice as big. In time, they underwent the same fate as many other Roman monuments as they were looted for construction materials over the centuries. In 1560 the tepidarium was turned into a church by Pius IV, who put Michelangelo in charge of the project. The outcome of his efforts was the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri. In the same area, two museums house the most important collections of classical art in the world, including the Discobolus, the Crouching Venus (Aphodite) of Doidalsas, the Augustus of Prima Porta, the Girl from Anzio, and beautiful original Greek statues discovered in Rome such as the Boxer at Rest and the Ruler, the Sleeping Hermaphoditus, the frescoes of Villa Livia, the opus sectile of the Basilica of Junius Bassus, and finally the Roman mummy of Grottarossa and its grave goods, the only well-known example of Roman techniques of embalming.