Approximately one half mile south of the Colosseum are the Baths of Caracalla. Built between 212 and 216 AD by Emperor Caracalla, they were the second largest public baths in Rome. The Emperor did not have a very good reputation, so he had the baths built for political propaganda purposes, namely so the people would like and remember him. The baths were free to the citizens of Rome. The Aqua Marcia aqueduct was built specifically to provide water for the baths. In the sixth century, the Ostogoths took control of the baths during the Gothic War and destroyed the hydrolic system, thus ending the use of the baths.
Looking from the gardens towards the main complex. Underneath this part was the huge heating and storage facility. Approximately ten tons of wood per day were burned to heat the pools. The storage rooms could hold 2000 tons more of wood. Thus, the complex could run for 7 months before the wood had to be replenished.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.