On the agenda for the day: Roman National Museum, Diocletian Baths, and Church of Michelangelo.
We started the morning off at the Roman National Museum which houses some incredible mosaics, statues/sculptures and other ancient artifacts. One thing that was really impressive was an exhibit of a villa archaeologists found not far from the museum. In these re-created rooms, there were examples of the beautiful walls, ceilings and mosaics on the floor. It was neat to catch a glimpse of what the Roman’s living situation was like. Moving on from the impressive mosaics, the sculptures were so very detailed. One bronze statue we saw was called “The Boxer.”
Next we went to the Diocletian bath ruins. The Diocletian baths was a huge complex that housed you guessed it, BATHS! Bath time for the Romans was not only for cleaning purposes but also for social reasons. No matter your class, going to the baths was something that was available to everyone. It was thought that this specific bath house could house up to 3,000 seated people and a total of 9,000 people. The Romans were not only advanced in their engineering but also their thinking for coming up with the idea of such a enormous bathing complex. Among the ruins of the baths was where Michelangelo decided to construct a church using 8 gigantic pink egyptian marble from the original structure. Also inside the church is the meridian line, which a pope had constructed in order to get the accurate date of Easter. Science for the purpose of religion, kind of a cool concept!
At the end of this tour, we said goodbye to our fantastic tour guide Gino and had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves.