Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill: these are Italy’s most visited sites in 2016, according to the top 30 list issued by Mibact (the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism). But they are not the only ones in Rome. On the same list we also find Castel St.Angelo, the Borghese Gallery, the archaeological site of Ostia Antica, the villa D’Este in Tivoli and two sites which are probably not so popular: the National Roman Museum and the Baths of Caracalla.
The National Roman Museum
The National Roman Museum is really peculiar, because it is composed of four different buildings throughout the city: Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme and Baths of Diocletian.
- Crypta Balbi is situated between Piazza Venezia and Largo di Torre Argentina. It houses the archaeological remains of the Theatre of Lucius Cornelius Balbus and other objects from various collections.
- Palazzo Altemps is located in Campo Marzo, close to Piazza Navona and hosts amazing collections of antiquities, like Greek and Roman sculptures, that in the 16th and 17th centuries belonged to some families of the Roman nobility.
- Palazzo Massimo alle Terme is close to the Termini train station: four floors of beautiful sculptures, mosaics, jewels, coins and grave ornaments.
- Baths of Diocletian is a 13 hectar thermal complex, the biggest one ever built in Rome. It had a gymnasia, some libaries and a large swimming pool. Some rooms have been converted by Michelangelo into the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels and the Christian Martyrs; there is also a Carthusian Monastery.
Baths of Caracalla
Baths of Caracalla (Terme di caracalla in Italian) is one of the largest and also well preserved ancient termal complex. Today it is possible to visit the ruins and have a walk sourronded by history: it’s definitely a place not to be missed. During the summer its central part hosts the Roma Opera company and it becomes even more captivating.
It’s not on the list, but we suggest trying something different after the most famous tourist sites in Rome: the Criminology Museum. It’s situated on via del Gonfalone (close to via Giulia) and houses a large collection of a lot of things crime-related. This museum has three section: the first one displays instruments of capital punishment (and it’s very impressive!); the second one is devoted to 19th century studies and police techniques; the third one is devoted to 20th century crime. If you are a thrill seeker, this place is right for you!
Rome is always a big surprise…Don’t you think?