On our first full day in Italia, we focused on the nearby opportunity of visiting Il Scavi de Ostia Antica (the excavations of Ostia Antica). For the very reasonable price of 8 euros, you get more than a day’s worth of exploration at this amazing site. To put it mildly, a single day is not enough to appreciate all the wonderful structures that have been excavated at this old harbor of Ancient Rome; the route of the Tiber was right by Ostia Antica 2,000 years ago.
We decided to explore on our own with the map that we purchased, and we were immediately astonished by the detail that has been preserved across the millennia. Get off the main thoroughfares to look at the plaques that are sometimes hidden from direct view to get to the really good stuff!
After well over 5 hours of exploring on a beautiful Italian Spring day, we decided to call it a day and go for a gelato. We didn’t see everything, but did unearth some rather cool items that definitely are not seen by everyone; most tour groups appear to focus on a shorter route than we took, and when we got to the further regions of this park, we were rewarded with quiet time and some hidden treasures.
Minerva as Winged Victory
Dolphin Gang with Neptune
Strutting your Stuff!
Amor and Psyche making out
Diana’s Bar and Kitchen
View across the Ruins
Poppies among the Ruins
Temple of Ceres
Through the Portal
Ruins among us
Our decision to base ourselves in Ostia Antica first appears to have been solid thus far, particularly after a great meal at La Bussola, which I recommend highly with fresh, well-prepared food and friendly service!
Tomorrow, we strike out into Roma!
A walk through Ostia Antica
After getting as much work done at the last moment, as possible, we were off on our next sizable vacation in several years, packed in our flight from Boston to Rome like a good harvest of sardines. 8 hours later, we landed at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport, which is beginning to look very nice with all the renovations that are under way.
We picked up our rental car, a rather cute Fiat 500, which is pretty sporty for a little car, and were off to our first stop in Ostia Antica. Despite traffic, we checked into our really nice AirBnB location here in Ostia Antica and decided to crash for a little bit and refresh ourselves after the flight.
After this, we decided to explore the center of Ostia Antica, where we went for a rather nice walk, through the Castello I’d Giulio II…
Castello di Giulio II
Alley Way in Ostia Antica
Castello di Giulio II
Doorway in Ostia Antica
The papal castle of Julius II looks rather impressive with its heavily fortified walls. Considering his nickname of the Warrior Pope that doesn’t surprise; this pope was an interesting character, if what history writes about him is correct (Wikipedia article). We’re looking forward to seeing the inside of this museum on Saturday, before we’re off to Tuscany.
After this pleasant stroll, we enjoyed a gelato (#1) and found some simple, yet delicious pizza for an early dinner (dinner is typically served after 8, but we were a bit too tired to wait for that). Overall a good start!