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Ostia Antica is a huge archeological site that has become the main anchorage of ancient Rome. The city is distinguished because of the excellent preservation of its old buildings, remarkable mosaics and resplendent frescoes. It is known to be the oldest archeological relics having ruins that date back to the fourth century BC. It served as a trading harbor and at the same time as a naval seaport. Ostia also functioned as a buffer that protected Rome from possible invasion by river.
Ostia Antica was founded by King Ancus Martinus in 620 BC. It is situated at the mouth of Tiber River, thus named as Ostia that was derived from a Latin word “osmium” which means “mouth”. It was thought to be the first Colony of Rome.
Under the leadership of Tiberius, the city was further developed in the 1st century AD. It was also Tiberius who ordered the construction of the first Forum in the city. Ostia Antica reached its peak in the 2nd century AD with a population of 75, 000. It was also during this time when many buildings and structures were constructed in the city. The constructions were initiated by Emperor Hadrian, Trajan and Pius Antunius. The new buildings were built over the old structures.
During the 4th century, the city was infected by Malaria, which had triggered the people to leave the city. This had caused the city’s initial deterioration. As the Roman Empire concluded, Ostia also gradually decayed. And in the 9th century, it was finally then abandoned because of the recurrent battles and invasions.
Interesting Spots in Ostia Antica
- Archeological Scavenger Hunt
- Cemetery (Necropolis)
- Insula dei Dipinti
- Mill (Molino)
- Ostia Museum
- Piazza dei Lari
- Piazzale delle Corporazioni (Square of the Guilds)
- Forum Baths (Terme del Foro)
- Porta Romana
- Republican Warehouses (Magazzini Repubblicani)
- Terme di Nettuno (Baths of Neptune)
- Tombs and sarcophagi
- Via Casa di Diana
Getting to Ostia Antica
If you are from downtown Rome, getting to Ostia Antica can merely take you a snap. With a combination of train and metro rides, you can be able to reach the city in as much as 45 minutes. The travel will also cost you just a single ticket per way. You can take the metro line B to the pyramid metro stop. This metro stop is likewise the train station of Roma Porta San Paolo. With this, it will only take you just a few steps to get into the train. Ride on a train that heads to Lido. Virtually all trains for Lido depart every 15 minutes. Along the way, Lido train trips stop at Ostia Antica.
Once you are already in Ostia Antica train station, you can take around five minutes walking to get into the entrance. You simply need to cross the blue sky bridge and walk ahead a little further to Via della Stazione di Ostia Antica. Straight ahead is the parking lot and on the left side is the entrance.
Another great way of getting to Ostia Antica easily is by booking a tour. The booking fee includes all the entrance fees. The tour will be led by a highly experienced guide who can speak English. The tour guide will likewise take with him the tickets to make sure everyone can get off at the exact stop. The group tour is usually comprised of a maximum of 25 people.
Right after booking, you will be provided with a voucher which will serve as your proof of payment. Keep the voucher and take it with you when joining the tour. In the voucher, you can find the complete information of the operator, including the local contact numbers at your destinations.
The tour will usually last for a total of four hours. This includes the time for travel and a 2.5 hours stroll along the ruins of the site.
After the tour, you will be given the option to either go back to Rome with the group or stay in Ostia Antica a bit longer. If you choose to stay longer, your train tickets will be arranged by the operator. There are a lot of things you can do in Ostia Antica. You may continue sightseeing, or enjoy swimming, sunbathing and savoring fresh air at the nearby beach.