Not only the amazing ruins of the harbour of ancient Rome, but also the castle of a Pope, the seaside at hand, the natural oasis of Portus, a modern Spa… the area of Ostia is all that, and it’ only 40 minutes away form the chaotic centre of Rome.
This ancient roman city was the main harbour of Rome and the remains are still impressive. Unlike other similar sites – notably the towns preserved by the Vesuvius eruption – there are not many frescoes here, but there are amazing structures comprised of the residential blocks of flats (called insulae) and many horrea i.e. the warehouses where they stored everything coming from the Mediterranean ports and addressed to Rome (from food to granite columns). In an surreal stillness, you can appreciate the combination of nature and ruins: a magnificent theatre, temples and shrines, public baths, the ancient eateries and shops, residences. They can all be explored at ease. This is probably the best place near Rome to help children and teens understand everyday life in the ancient world.
Complete your day trip:
On the other side of the river Tiber we find Portus, a sort of extension of the former harbour, where the current hexagonal lake still recalls the futuristic project by Trajan in the II century AD. Now this area is both an archaeological and naturalistic protected oasis. You can complete the insightful journey in the ancient Roman life (and death!) visiting the necropolis of Isola Sacra, a well preserved cemetery nearby.
Reach the beach! The modern city of Ostia – called Ostia Lido – is a popular destination for local beachgoers. When in Rome, relax as the Romans do! Spend a couple of hours on the beach: seawater is not the most appealing here, but the beach clubs and restaurants are very nice and many offer a swimming pool. We can also arrange a short sailing experience for you, in order to enjoy a light lunch and a swim offshore.
relax seekers and romance
If the season is not favourable or you do not like the confusion of the beach, we recommend a modern spa just 20’ away from the excavations where you can experience the same treatments the ancient Romans enjoyed in their public baths: saunas, steam rooms, hot baths alternated to cold pools and massages, maybe with a romantic glass of prosecco in between!
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