Ostia antica

Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica is a large archeological site located near Rome on the Tiber River. During ancient times, it had a status of Rome’s harbor or port city. After the Roman Empire fell, the city became abandoned and remained untouched and preserved for centuries. Today, Roman ruins of Ostia Antica, which served as old city’s seaport, attract visitors from all around the world.

History

Ostia was founded around 620 B.C.

In 400 B.C., Rome conquered the city and made it a naval base. By 150 A.D., Ostia served as a commercial Rome`s ancient port. However, with the fall of Rome, the port was abandoned and the harbor silted up over time.

A small museum of Ostia offers statuaries of tangled wrestlers, kissing cupids, gods, where most of the artworks are from the 2nd-3rd-centuries A.D. Most of the masterpieces are inspired by Greek originals and many of them are from different religions. Since Ostia was a port, it accommodated people from all parts of the world.

 

Nowadays you can walk on a huge territory full of ruins and amazing buildings that went through centuries. The main street, Decumanus Maximus, once was full of carrucas, the four-wheeled carts that ferried merchandise and luggage between Rome and Ostia. Moreover, two-wheeled cisia was used as a public transportation for commuters.

One of the main sites to see is Ostia’s amphitheater

Founded in 12 B.C., it is a marvelous and well-preserved building, which fascinates with its sizes and beauties. Behind the theater is the Forum of Corporations, which served as the building with the offices of sixty-four maritime companies. You will still find mosaic names, pictures on the ground in front of each office and a covered corridor. In the age of Claudius, the place was raised by a second level to create the seats of the collegia, which is the association of trades for business making. The Temple of Ceres is over the middle of the Forum. Also, there are the Baths of Neptune with mosaics of the sea god. Additionally, the site located right near the modern café, where you can book a tour.

ostia antica

Don’t forget about the high podium of the Collegiate Temple. Interestingly, it was a social club for men of the poorer classes, where they afforded themselves a kind of a banquet, while the rich could afford it every day. The dinners became at 3 pm and lasted until the rise of the sun.

Women weren’t invited to the banquets

Moreover, slaves were doing washings in the small terracotta tubs into the brick counters. Their heads were shaved as a distinguish sign. The laundry located near the public baths.

In the period of its development, Ostia reached 50,000 inhabitants, but around the third century A.D. a deep crisis decreased a trade and commerce. Consequently, part of the inhabitants left the city. After the fifth century A.D., there economic recovery of the city led to the move of all commercial and administrative activities to the Port of Trajan. The port was highly protected from storms and enemy incursions.

ostia antica

The temple, at the center of the square, was built over a podium in the age of Domitian, among gardens and open spaces decorated with statues.

The three Masks turned to the stage of the Theater

Useful information

  • Address: Via dei Romagnoli, 717
  • Ticket Office: +39 06 56350215
  • Bookshop and Guided Visits: +39 06 56352830
  • Cafeteria: +39 06 56350008
  • E-mail: ostiaantica.info@beniculturali.it
  • There are audio guides in English, Italian, and French, which you can get at the ticket office
  •  You can book a tour from Tuesday to Sunday by contacting the ticket office or by completing a form online here

How to Get There

Public transports:

  • From Termini Station: take metro line B and get off at Piramide. Get to Porta San Paolo and take the first train of the line Roma-Lido di Ostia, stop at Ostia Antica
  • From Fiumicino Airport: when you go out from the airport, go along Viale dell’Aeroporto di Fiumicino until crossing Via del Mare and follow the directions to Ostia Antica

Opening Hours

  • From the last Sunday of October until February 15th: 8:30 am to 3:30 – 4:30 pm
  • From February 16th until March 15th: 8:30 am to 4 – 5 pm
  • From March 16th until the last Saturday of March: 8:30 am to 4 – 5:30 pm
  • From the last Sunday of March until August 31st: 8:30 am to 6:15 – 7:15 pm
  • From September 1st until 30th: 8:30 am to 6 – 7 pm
  • From October 1st until the last Saturday of October: 8:30 am to 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Closed: Mondays, December 25th, January 1st, May 1st

Ostia antica

Ticket cost

  • Full ticket: 10 euro
  • Reduced ticket:  6 euro (18-25 years old and teachers)
  • Free admission: under 18, journalists, school groups; disabled; Students and professors of the faculties of History of Art Architecture, Preservation of Cultural Heritage, archivists, librarians, Accademy of Fine Arts, Educational Science, tourist guides, tourist interpreters (members of the European Community) + ICOM members + ICCROM
  • First Sundays of every month, the admission is free for everyone
  • The official site

Ostia Antica is a great choice for a day trip because it is located near Rome and there are many things to explore. Also, your children will like this city because there are many buildings and lots of space to run and play games. Undoubtedly, Ostia Antica is full of history and beauties of ancient ruins.

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Author: Kate Zusmann

For the last five years I live in Rome, Italy. Recently, I've graduated from the American university of John Cabot with major in communication and minor in entrepreneurship. I have a passion for writing, traveling, and exploring new things.