Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ostia Antica

me on the main road at Ostia, heading into town
 Now on to Ostia.  On Friday, Nathaniel and I went to Ostia, which is just about a 25 minute train ride from Rome.  In ancient times, it was an important port city for the Roman Empire.  I first learned about Ostia in Latin class in high school when we learned about the emperor Claudius, but I had no idea that the entire city was basically preserved and an awesome site open to visitors.  And I mean OPEN.  You could go all over and see so much.  It was fantastic.  Again, not crowded.  And unlike the Roman Forum, Ostia did have signs explaining some of the ruins.  We also bought a map and a book on Ostia.  The city is so well preserved that I could actually tell what some things were without the signs/books, which was really a treat.

the view from the top of the theater

the theater, which is only about 2/3 as tall as it used to be
And, have I mentioned mosaics yet?  (Insert Nathaniel's eye roll here.)  I have a thing for mosaics.  I took dozens of pictures of mosaics at Ostia, and at a museum on Saturday.  Nathaniel can vouch for the fact that I'm not exaggerating.  Here are just a few:

these two guys were athletes

Most (though not all) of the mosaics at Ostia were black and white.  Many had fish or a water theme, which is probably due to the fact that it was a port city.  It was so fun to wander through the ruins and happen upon an incredible mosaic, just out in the middle of ruined buildings.  Some of the biggest mosaics were actually covered with tarps because they are under restoration, and so there are actually several more than the many we saw.  And how close could you get to the majority of them?

Many of them are still on the floors where the tourists walk.  I tried not to walk directly on the decorated parts when possible, but it was incredible that you actually could.

Nathaniel really enjoyed Ostia, at least for the first two hours.  Those last two were probably a bit much for him, but he was a great sport.

This is inside one of the "fast food" restaurants of ancient Rome.

There were even still some paintings on the walls.  Again, you would just be walking in the middle of ruined buildings, and then you'd see something like this!
These are just a very few of the pictures we took at Ostia.  We're going to get one of those photo books made.  I was thrilled with how good the pictures turned out.


  1. Amazing! The pictures look beautiful! When you get those photo books made please make a trip here to share them with me!! ;)