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The original name, Piazza Esedra, refers to its location in the central 'esedra' or semi-circular courtyard of the Diocletian thermal baths. The focal point of the piazza is the beautifully ornate fountain of the Naiads by Rutelli, adorned with groups of feminine forms surrounding the central figure representing man's victory over nature (1901-1914).

What remains today of these baths are a testimony to its ancient grandeur, which extended 13 hectares allowing a maximum capacity of 3000 people. The interior area houses the Basilica of Maria degli Angeli as well as one of the 4 sites of the Museo Nazionale Romano.

Built around 1560 by Michelangelo, ingeniously transforming the existing area of the ancient Tepidarum (lukewarm water room). It was refurbished in 1749 by Luigi Vanvitelli who changed its orientation.

Passing through the famous 'Aula Ottagona' (eight sided) vestibule, we find the enormous nave (90 meters in length, 27 meters in width, 27 meters in height). Enormous statues are present, along with eight monolithic, ancient, red granite roof supports. The Basilica also houses the remains of several famous men, among them: Salvador Rosa and Armando Diaz.

Founded in the early 20th century, this museum, with its four locations (terme di Diocleziano. Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Palazzo Altemps, Cripta Balbi), houses the foremost archaeological collection in the world. The museum's sculpture collection is on exhibit in the cloister of Santa Maria Maggiore, grouped together, according to the geographical areas in which they were found. In the garden near the Palazzo Cinquecento is a collection of funerary stones and sacrificial altars from the late Republic and Early Empire periods. The upper floor holds a collection of Imperial era epigraphic inscriptions, whereas, the floor above the cloister displays a collection which illustrates the early developments in Roman society.

Via E. De Nicola, 78
Hours: 9.00 A.M. - 7.45 P.M., Closed: Mondays, Christmas day, New year's day
Entrance: fee charged
Ph: 06 39967700
Internet site: www.archeorm.arti.beniculturali.it
CHow to get there: autobus 36, 38, 40, 64, 86, 90, 92, 105, 157, 170, 175, 217, 310, 714, 910
Metro Linea A - B (Termini)

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