The idea of public baths was originally Greek, and the Romans picked up on the idea around the second century B.C.
The first palatial bath (Thermae) was built by Agrippa in the Campus Martius. Others were located near the pantheon in Rome, on the slopes of the Esquiline Hill, near the Colusseum, by Porta Capena and on the Quirinai Hill. These Thermae were not merely baths. Some contained art galleries and halls to hire or use freely to meet friends in, others had large palaestra's (exercise yards) within or nearby.
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