Located at the mouth of the River Tiber, just a few miles from Rome, Ostia soon became the main passage to the sea for the Romans and one of the main harbors on the Mediterranean sea.
Ostia is a very quiet relaxing place, not as crowded as Pompeii, Ostia’s southern sister. In the past Pompeii was a summer resort, where rich Romans had luxurious residences, Ostia, on the other hand, was a sea port where people would work.
We’ll see shipbuilding yards, apartment blocks, temples, taverns and grocery stores, public toilets and warehouses for goods arriving from all over the Roman Empire.
After centuries of glory and life in the early imperial times, after the intense growth of private and public buildings, roads and harbors, fortified walls and more, Ostia was slowly abandoned following the demise of the Empire.
As it ceased to be drained the area became a marsh. In the following centuries Ostia’s beautiful marble and mosaic decorations were stolen to be recycled in churches and other buildings, first of all the powerful Castle of Pope Julius II that we can still admire at the entrance of the site.
Now, Ostia is a very enjoyable romantic place, where you can really understand and feel how life was in old times. Never too crowded, like other famous old roman cities. As we stroll beneath Ostia’s beautiful umbrella-shaped pines, we discover ancient necropolises, private homes, condominium blocks, shops, taverns feeling like going back in time!