Suddenly you’re in the excavation site of the Roman Baths in Como.
It is odd. You walk through Como and stumble upon a Roman excavation site. The only pointer was a little sign on a multi-storey car park that said: “Terme die Como Romana”.
It was planned to build an underground car park in this spot in the 70s. As the work began, the first part of the thermal bath had been discovered and a formal excavation effort was launched. The walls of what is thought to be eight different rooms that cover about 1500 m² were found during the excavation work. The remains stem from the second half of the first century.
In 2006 another excavation took place. The remains of another 10 rooms were uncovered. Those date back to the second century after Christ. The rooms are arranged around a central courtyard and all differ in shape and size. It is not fully clear what these rooms were originally used for.
The interested public can visit the site for free. It is underneath the car park. One can either have a look from above via the normal entrance to the car park or walk through the actual site itself which is by far the more exciting option. The site is open on multiple days of the week, facilitated by the Italian Touring Club for Cultural Heritage. Visitors can access the actual excavation site, touch the ancient walls and follow the footsteps of the old Romans through the bath.
We didn’t plan our visit and were lucky that we came across the bath during the opening hours. So naturally, we wandered through the excavation site and we spotted many little intriguing details. In 2 extra rooms that function as an exhibition to the site, several items from the bath are on display.
For whatever reason, some pieces of modern artist are on display in the wonderful old buildings. I didn’t like that. In my opinion, those ruin the aesthetic of the site. Maybe this was only temporary and those pieces aren’t normally displayed like this but it did irritate me. That aside, the excavation site was very interesting and I do recommend a visit.
Terme di Como romana
Viale Lecco 9
Tuesday and Thursday: 10.00 to 14.00
Saturday: 10.00 – 18.00