For history enthusiasts visiting Rome, Italy, a visit to the ruins of Ostia Antica offers a relaxing trip back in time away from the big-city noise.
Tradition says the ancient city of Ostia was founded by Ancus Marcius, the 4th king of Rome but little archeological evidence supports this oral history. However, the first settlement can be tracked to the beginning of the 4th century B.C. following the defeat of the Etruscan town of Veio. It was the first Roman colony.
Plan for Your Visit
Plan to spend the entire day at Ostia because the site is large. Guided tours are available, but you’ll also want time to browse, visit the museum, and to just relax.
Due to Ostia’s proximity to the sea, the weather varies so dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes. In general, you can expect hot weather from mid-May to late September so wear a sun hat. Even on a cloudy day, it can be quite hot.
Guided tours are available but reservations must be made prior to your visit.
If you choose to visit Ostia without a arranging a guide, don’t spend too much time too much time visiting the first buildings you come to because the archaeological area is large and there’s plenty to see. Wander ancient alleys and spent the day exploring what’s left of rooftops storefronts and even latrines. Even the kids will find it interesting.
The museum features almost 400 artifacts from the most prominent quarry pits of the Roman Empire and offers a chance to get out of the sun.
Here you’ll see quarried marbles from the Isola Sacra and the Fossa Traiana along with artifacts dating back to the last century in the Fossa Traiana. Such stones were quarried in conquered territories and used for both architectural and decorative purposes in the most important buildings, such as the Imperial Fora and temples.
The easiest way to reach Ostia is by using the metro but you can get there by car, too. Just park in the lot at the entrance to the excavations.
The cost to get in is 6.50 euro for adults and half that price for youths between the ages of 18 and 25. For seniors age 64 and older and children under the age of 18 admission is free. For more information visit their website.