Among the several number of possible excursions from Rome, we advise you not to miss the site of Ostia Antica.
In this post you’ll have a first glimpse at the amazing remains we encountered during our exploration of the archeological area of Ostia Antica accompanied by our expert and entertaining guide, Nicole.
To avoid the traffic we left Rome by car at 9:00. After a very short ride (approximately 30 minutes) along the sea road we arrived in Ostia Antica, the ancient Roman city located at the mouth of the Tiber River.
Once a flourishing trade and and business center, due to its strategic position on the sea, today Ostia Antica is a complex of incredibly well-preserved ruins that provide a glimpse into the daily life in Ancient Rome.
At the entrance, a map illustrates the archeological area: the first thing to capture our attention was how huge the area was.
The excavations began at the beginning of the 14th century and brought to life an entire city: this naval base was conquered by the Romans around 400 BC and served as commercial port. After the fall of the Roman Empire the port was abandoned. The mud started covering the area, saving the remains from their complete destruction.
Starting our walk down the main street, called Decumanus Maximus, Nicole immediately focused our attention on the different buildings and walls from the Republic age and the Empire age.
While listening to the words of our story - teller and learning all about the life of the Romans during the ancient times, we arrived at the Terme di Nettuno (the Baths of Neptune), a huge thermal complex with big pools and marble stairs, adorned with an impressive mosaic depicting the god Neptune riding horses through the waves: this place represented the social center of the city.
Suddenly - after walking under a big arch - we founded ourselves in the middle of the Amphitheater built by Agrippa, that is still used for concert today.
This ancient city, so full of life couldn’t possibly not have a bar, an ancient inn called the Insula of the Thermopolium, with a sink, shelves to display the food, and a marble counter.
After this amazing excursion, we end up our tour in a local trattoria (restaurant) close to the archeological site. The food served at the restaurant Nicole took us to was absolutely delicious and we were able to try local products and dishes with fresh ingredients.