Ostia Antica - like Pompeii with no crowds

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

The wine bar in the Thermopolium was our favorite part of antiquity.

Black and white mosaics line the Piazzale delle Corporazioni and were advertisements for the shipping companies that made Ostia a booming commercial center.

The main road or Decumanus used to run all the way to Rome.

The archaeological park encompasses 84 acres.

The theater is still used for special performances today.

There are many intriguing mosaics to admire all over Ostia. The gift shop features them on magnets and other decorative souvenirs.

Brick was the primary building material and it has withstood the ravages of time.

We had been wanting to visit Rome’s ancient port city, Ostia Antica, for years, but hadn´t gotten around to it until this trip. Even though the ancient archaeological park is just a short train ride from downtown Rome, most tourists miss this fascinating site. This trip we decided to schedule two nights at a small bed and breakfast, Domus Gratiae, within walking distance of the park and not far from the Rome airport. Since this trip involved a connecting flight to Sardinia, we decided to get over our jet lag for a night and spend a day at the park. We had a short cab ride to our bed and breakfast and spent only 30 euros for the fare. We were a 10 minute walk from the heart of Ostia Antica and were happy to be in a low key town to walk off some of our jet lag. There are several quality restaurants in town as well as bar/coffee shops and pizza places. All were well priced and cheap by Rome standards.

Ostia Antica dates back to the fourth century B.C. and rose to prominence as the port for Rome. In its heyday, the Main Street at Ostia, called the Decumanus, reached all the way to the heart of Rome. Today, you can wander about at your leisure as you follow along the audio guide that accompanies your own tour. The park entrance fee is 12 euros and the audio guide costs 6 euros. A whole day can be spent at the park if you choose to listen to all 60 stops on the tour which takes 7 hours and covers 9 kilometers of walking. We chose the short tour of 26 stops of 3 hours and 4 kilometers. It was so interesting that we plan to return some day, but even the short tour is very comprehensive. Approximately  two-thirds of the city has been excavated and covers an area of 84 acres. Although it was not preserved by being covered with lava like Pompeii, it was frozen in time by falling into disuse. By the 10th century the city had been abandoned completely and left for future generations to uncover. As you walk through the park, you will notice ongoing excavations that will ensure even more to discover on future visits. There is also an archaeological museum where some of the finest specimens are shown and a pleasant coffee shop/restaurant where you can break up your visit. 

#Romanhistory #archaeology #Pompeii #OstiaAntica #Rome

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