This past Sunday was spent exploring the ancient ruins of Ostia Antica in Rome. The modern suburb of Ostia is only an hour and a half commute from Rome and holds a vast of ancient Roman history as it was the original seaport of Rome, located at the mouth of the Tiber River. The site is now being preserved and is a well-known tourist attraction for visitors wanting to see historical sites in the Eternal City, other then the well-known Colosseum, Pantheon, and Spanish Steps.
Our day started out by early-afternoon joining the hustle and bustle of the city of Rome on a busy Saturday. We took a few metro trips to take us to our end destination. The good thing is that we didn’t have to buy any new tickets as our monthly transport passes were enough, but our visitors in town had to purchase the 1,50€ tickets to come along.
Originally the plan was to visit Pompeii, a city near Naples, famous for Mount Vesuvius. But after pondering it a little bit (and also feeling lazy) we decided to check out Ostia Antica instead, and cut the travel time in half since Pompeii is 3.5 hours away.
After having lunch at a quiet, but delicious restaurant, near the ancient ruins we headed towards the gate of the entrance of this archeological site, which, on the other side, has ruins and stories thousands of years old. The cost to get in is 8€ per adult. Make sure you get there with plenty of time to browse. Now that the sun sets quickly, visitors have to leave by 4:30 pm. We were probably the very last ones out that day…oops!
With the help of Rick Steve’s Audio Europe Tour, we were able to download this app, and have a “self-guided” tour through Ostia Antica, which was very convenient as we could pause and listen to it at our pace. The app is free, and highly recommended as it also includes audio tours of other more famous historical monuments, such as the Colosseum and Pantheon.
There were several different parts of the ruins that were like a neighborhood that had everything and anything you needed back in the day. From bathhouses, where the Romans would bathe in water and olive oil (talk about silky smooth skin), to the theater where plays were held holding about 4,000 recipients!
For it to be as old as it is, I was surprised at how well some of these ancient buildings and mosaics have been preserved considering some of them date back to the 4th century B.C.
Having been in Rome for about 5 months now, it’s nice to get away from the touristy parts of the city to an area, often overlooked, but still so rich in history.
I challenge you to take a trip somewhere near your home, off the beaten path, and discover a place that you wouldn’t normally think to go to. Think of it as an adventure and scavenger hunt to see new places, and learn new things about your city.
Let me know in the comments below..where are you thinking of going? Or if you recently took a trip like this..where did you go and what did you do?
All my love,