Rome day 6: Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica is one the largest archeological sites I’ve ever been and all the ruins are well preserved. Ostia Antica was the harbour of the ancient Rome, located at the sea (now 2 kilometers away) at the mouth of the river Tiber, 30 kilometers to the West of Rome. Ostia Antica dates back to the 4th century BC and grew to become a great port and commercial centre with a population of 50.000. Decline set in after the fall of the Roman Empire and by the 9th century the city had been abandoned. Over the centuries Ostia Antica was plundered of marble and building materials. It’s ruins were buried in the river silt and that’s why they survived.

Apart from the Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina Sicily, where I’ve seen the most beautiful Roman mosaics ever, it is here in Ostia Antica that I have seen the most mosaics floors together ever at one site. There are mosaics everywhere. There are so many, some restaurated some still hiding underneath the grass.

 

Walking through this immense site is exciting both for kids as well as for adults. It’s like a big treasure hunt, because behind every  wall you can find a new fragment of frescoes, a thermal bath, temple, mosaic floor, a kitchen…

Ostia Antica can be reached by Metro and train. Take the Metro to Pyramide, walk over to the train station and take the train to Ostia Antica.  It takes 15-20 minutes to reach the the station and a 10 minutes walk to the entrance of the site. We could have spend a full day over there but have seen the most of it in 3 hours. If you can spare the time go there and enjoy this immense archeological site.

Tomorrow, day 7 we’ve planned to go to the Terme di Caracalla and the San Giovanni in Laterno.

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