Baths Of Caracalla 1 1024x651, Flyover Zone

Travel back in time and experience the Baths of Caracalla with our virtual tour.
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Built in the astonishingly short span of just 5 years (211-216 CE), the bathing complex sponsored by the emperor Caracalla was one of the marvels of ancient Rome due to its sophisticated engineering and lavish decoration. The giant facility could host thousands of visitors at a time in carefully curated spaces designed for exercise, recreation, and bathing in cold, warm, and hot environments, allowing average Romans to experience the lifestyle of the aristocracy and the emperor himself for a few hours a day. This virtual tour focuses on the bath block, the contiguous suite of spaces dedicated to exercise and bathing and the best-preserved part of the complex. The original architectural decorations have been restored where known, and otherwise the model uses decorations inspired by contemporary monumental structures. The commentary begins with the history and organization of the complex and then explores the spaces for changing, exercising, sweating, and bathing. A unique feature of this tour is the restoration of the several free-standing marble sculptures recovered from the Baths of Caracalla in recent centuries and currently housed in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Among them are some of the most technically ambitious and imposing sculptures ever executed, the Farnese Hercules (Weary Hercules) and the Farnese Bull (Punishment of Dirce). Your guides are Prof. Bernard Frischer, Director of the Rome Reborn project and founder of Flyover Zone, and Dr. Alberto Prieto, a Rome-based archaeologist and educator and Chief Content Officer at Flyover Zone.

Audio: English
Subtitles: English, Italian

Project Manager:
Cristiana Barandoni
Bernard Frischer
Alberto Prieto

Bernard Frischer

Tour Guide/Narration:
Bernard Frischer
Alberto Prieto

Bernard Frischer
Alberto Prieto

3D Modeling:
Yuri Alogna
Davide Angheleddu

3D Models:
Hercules and Antaios, Palazzo Pitti, Cortile dell' Ammannati, Inv. OdA 1911 n. 607 used su concessione del Ministero della Cultura.
Farnese Bull, National Archaeological Museum of Naples (inv. no. 60020) used su concessione del Ministero della Cultura.
Neoptolemus and Astyanax, National Archaeological Museum of Naples (inv. no. 5999) used su concessione del Ministero della Cultura.
Bust of Caracalla used in full-length reconstruction of the portrait, National Archaeological Museum of Naples (inv. no. 6033) used su concessione del Ministero della Cultura.
Hercules Farnese, National Archaeological Museum of Naples (inv. no. 6001) used su concessione del Ministero della Cultura.
Labrum, National Archaeological Museum of Naples (inv. no. 6021) used su concessione del Ministero della Cultura.

Art Direction:
Mohamed Abdelaziz

Ambra Spinelli (Italian)

Image Credits:
Panoramic photograph by Flyover Zone taken from a public street (Viale Guido Baccelli).
Image of the athletes mosaic from S. Andrejewitsch Iwanoff (with C. Huelsen, ed. Kaiserlich Deutsches Archäologisches Institut), Architektonische Studien, vol. 3: Aus den Thermen des Caracalla. Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1898.
Photograph of the Farnese gem engraved with the punishment of Dirce courtesy of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples (MANN inv. no. 25897). Photograph of Hercules and Antaios in Palazzo Pitti by Dimitris Kamaras via Flickr (CC BY 2.0). Map of Odysseus' route by Giu.zcc via Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA 4.0), with addition of label.

Created By:
Flyover Zone

Special Thanks:
Carlo Gasparri
Paolo Giulierini
John Herrmann, Jr.
François Queyrel
Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway
Betsey A. Robinson
Eike Schmidt
Andrew F. Stewart
Anne Weiss

The restoration of the coloring of the Farnese Hercules and the portrait of Caracalla was made possible thanks to the collaboration with the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, specifically the "MANN In Colours" project. Scientific director of the "MANN In Colours" project: Cristiana Barandoni. Director of the study: Andrea Rossi. The indications provided for these reconstructions derive from the preliminary study of the Farnese Collection and are subject to further investigation.

Flyover Zone dedicates this tour to the memory of Dr. Gunhild Jenewein (1951-2018).
All the reconstructions of the Baths of Caracalla used on this virtual tour were inspired by her monumental work, Die Architekturdekoration der Caracallathermen, 3 volumes (Historisches Institut beim Oesterreichischen Kulturforum in Rom). Vienna: Verlag der Oesterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2008.

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