Ostia Antica (April 30)

After we settled into our lovely hotel room this morning we headed out to visit the ancient port city of Ostia Antica. First order of business was to figure out how to get there. We checked with the hotel staff who advised us to take a cab to the train. We could manage that on our own but from there we were like little kids without a clue who can’t speak Italian. We got to the Piramide subway station that is connected to the Porta San Paolo train station but could not find the train station. Well, who would think it would be on the other side of the coffee shop! Dan stumbled onto it and then he got us tickets…€1.50 per person each way. (€1=$1.15) Thank heaven there was a person behind a desk because we had already checked out the ticket machines and short of a miracle could not have ever made heads or tails of them. Anyway, enough about our ineptitude; we got on and off the train with no assistance and enjoyed the thirty minute ride out of town.

There is a charming village feel to the modern suburb of Ostia Antica with an impressive, well maintained old castle (that was not open) dominating the landscape. We visited the local church where we lit a candle for Josie’s Aunt Jerry and then headed to the ancient ruins for which Ostia is famous. Adult admission: €8. The ruins date back to the fourth century BC. Ostia’s hay day was between the first and third centuries AD when upwards of 100,000 people called it home and life revolved around its port’s support of  Rome with goods from all over the vast Roman Empire. The archaeological site today is 70 acres and is laid out like the city that it once was with the original Roman road made of huge black stones, an amphitheater, and the remains of a synagogue, public latrines, public water system, baths, and hundreds and hundreds of structures and side streets. A few places even have the original mosaic tile floors. It has the same basic feel as its more famous and far older cousin Pompeii (which was buried in Vesuvius’ volcanic ash before Ostia hit its stride) but is far less popular and is nestled in the country, not in a city. We thoroughly enjoyed it, so the credit has to go to Dan for doing the research and making the recommendation.

We enjoyed a pasta lunch in the archaeological park and a cappuccino and pastry before making our way back to the train station to retrace our steps to the hotel. Jet lag has a firm grip on us now (read: Dan is dozing), so no doubt we’ll skip dinner and struggle to stay awake until it’s dark.



One thought on “Ostia Antica (April 30)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s