Discover Italy’s Most Underappreciated Sight

What Is Ostia Antica
Thousands of years ago, in the meadows between the Tiber River and the Tyrrhenian Sea, was a Roman port bustling with nearly 100,000 people. There were docks, warehouses, apartments, mansions, shopping malls, spas and more. Today, the city is abandoned—but beautifully preserved. And unlike Pompeii or The Colosseum, most tourists know nothing about it.

How To Get There
Ostia is very close to Rome and is easy to get to. Take line B of the Metro to the Piramide stop. From there all you have to do is get on a Roma Lido commuter train that will take you straight to Ostia Antica. If you need any help getting there or would rather arrange a private car, just let your Sidekick know. They’ll be more than happy to help.

What To See
Walking down Ostia’s main street is like being in a historical scavenger hunt. The best part of visiting this archaeological site is trying to reconstruct the ruins in your mind. Wander into any of the buildings and imagine what it must have been like to be there when Ostia was Rome’s busiest seaport.

Along the main street is one of the world’s oldest bricket theaters, which still hosts concerts in the summer. Across the theater is the Square of Guilds, a business center that housed over 60 offices of ship-owners and merchants. The sidewalk even features ancient mosaics that advertise the services that each of the shops offered. Search for the elephant mosaic. That’s the office of the traders that brought goods from Africa.

You’ll also find the Forum Baths, which was Ostia’s center for socialists. Marble steps lead to pools where residents used to bathe using olive oil, which servants then had to skim off the top of the water. While you’re there, find the giant mosaic of Neptune riding horses through massive waves.

There are just a few of our favorite sites which serve as a peek into Ancient Rome. Ostia Antica is just 30 minutes from the Colosseum, and absolutely worth the trip over.

 

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