Day Trips From Rome: Ostia Antica

I am not a city girl.  I find cities overwhelming most of the time.  While I love all of the events to choose from and events to attend, I dislike most of the day-to-day realities of city life.  The packed metros, pushy bus riders, angry postal clients, inexplicably closed administrative offices.

So every week I try to have Rome-free Sundays.

There are so many amazing day trips that are possible when you live right next to a major train hub.  All you have to do is check the timetables and hop on a regional line.

One of my recent favorite Rome-free days was to Ostia Antica:

Ostia Antica is what, in my American head, Italy should look like.  Heartbreakingly adorable.

We stopped for an afternoon snack in town so that I could coo over “omg, how cuteeeee” everything was.

Even though vino in a walled ancient city should be enough of a draw, Ostia Antica is best known for its extensive Roman ruins.

I couldn’t believe that we were allowed to wander at will through the ruins.  Though, be careful to duck. Ancient Romans were relatively short.

There are plenty of beautiful statues in addition to the examples of homes and even a huge amphitheatre:

Disclaimer: I am far too old to still find toilet humor funny, but one look at the rather privacy-lite ancient Roman public bathrooms and I may have gotten a small case of the giggles.

Keep your eyes open for plenty of mosaics in the ruins. (Can I just emphasize that I can’t believe you are allowed to walk all over this? I guess if it made it 2000+ years, it will probably stand up to abuse from a few more tourists).

Mosaics were often used to inform an illiterate public of what kind of services were available inside the business.  A fish could have indicated a bath house.

This was probably a brothel:

Aaaaaand one more case of the inappropriate giggles.

Getting There:

Ostia Antica is ridiculously easy to get to from the city center.  Just take the Lido train to the Ostia Antica station.

You can take Metro B to Piramide and switch the Lido line there. (Trains run about every 15 minutes).  Your metro ticket (1 Euro) is all you need to ride the train.

When you exit the Ostia Antica station, walk straight up the stairs, over the bridge and down the other side. Keep going straight and soon enough you’ll see the ruins in front of you and the walled city up the road to your right.

16 thoughts on “Day Trips From Rome: Ostia Antica

  1. Paula Feldman says:

    Wonderful life under the Italian sun with immediate giggles in areas where we’re not used to seeing certain things like erect somethings and toilets without divisions for privac. Gee, you haven’t left out anything except what you ate at lunch – which seems like a wonderful thing to fotograph because it was probably superb in its simplicity.

    Italy has so many ruins which are right in the middle of living spaces everywhere that the population is used to living with them and interacting with them…am looking forward to reading your next adventure.

    PS: Florence is an hour away from Rome. Lago Trasimeno is right next door and it is not to be missed. Le Saline di Volterre…just to give you some ideas!

    • La americana says:

      Thanks, Paula! We almost ended up in Florence yesterday, but the time change did us in and we settled for a slightly closer destination. I’ll keep all your tips in mind 🙂

  2. Eleonora says:

    Great post!
    I too adopt the “fuori-porta” solution when Rome gets in my face too much. Plus I love riding on trains.

    Have you been to Civita di Bagnoregio? Calcata? Ariccia? Nemi (strawberry festival coming up soon)? Saturnia? Genzano (for great bread)? Marino & Frascati (where during the wine festival “fountains spill wine”)? Sperlonga, San Martino al Cimino, Bomarzo, Tarquinia, Martignano, Bolsena… the list is endless. And then there are Abruzzo, Umbria, Tuscany destinations too, within a 2-hr train ride.
    As Linda says, there are so many destinations, you have many Sundays scheduled!

    A presto,
    E xx

    • La americana says:

      Nemi is definitely on the list for the first weekend in June! Is there a way to get there via train/bus? I’m willing to go to the trouble of renting a car for the strawberry festival.

      Frascati is our constant fallback when we find ourself asking “What should we do today…?” I was up there during carnevale and there were all sorts of booths set up. And YES to Marino for the wine festival. Wine out of fountains? I’m there!

      Thank you for all the other tips- I will have my Sundays planned out for awhile now!

  3. Royce says:

    So how far, time-wise, is Ostia Antica from Rome?

    And by the way, do I take your response above to mean you HAVEN’T been to Florence yet?? Please tell me that’s not the case…

    • La americana says:

      Only about a 30 min train ride. It’s technically still “in” Rome, I think.

      I haven’t been to Florence since I moved here! I know, I know. I will get there soon. We really were supposed to go on Sunday, but I had to be lame and cancel because of some work commitments. SOON.

  4. Pingback: italytutto’s week of Italy blogs: 4 April 2011 | italytutto - the blog about the blogs in Italy

  5. jann says:

    Fabulous shots! And to think that I went to Ostia Antica and missed those adorable orange houses. Now I know what I have to see when I go back. Grazie mille!!!

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