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Recommended daytrip from Rome: How to get to Ostia Antica

Published on June 28, 2018 by C. P.

Talking every day with visitors coming to see Rome – many of them for the first time – we tend to get the same type of requests from our clients. No matter the country they come from, their level of culture or their age, they will always ask where is it they can find some landmark that’s off the beaten path.

This is arguably difficult in a city that’s the 12th most visited place on the planet (according to Euromonitor’s 2017 survey!), but then again our very own idea, as locals, of “off the beaten path” diverges wildly from that of our clients. Enter Ostia Antica, one of the destinations for many a school trip during our childhood years!

It’s possibly one of the easiest daytrips you will be able to do while in Rome, and a perfect option if you’re short on time and can’t fit such destinations as Pompeii and Herculaneum into your Italian days.

The story of Ancient Rome’s seaport

Because, precisely like them, Ostia was an important Roman city back in the day (around the 3rd century AD it had more than 100,000 residents), and as a matter of fact it was Rome’s own seaport. But unlike the city destroyed by the Vesuvius, Ostia was merely forgotten about due to the decline of the Roman Empire, and major excavations of the whole area only started under the fascist regime.

Because there was no cataclismic event tied to the downfall of the city, which ended being covered in what was technically the silt from the river Tiber, the level of preservation of the area is extraordinary. Just not as dramatic as Pompeii! And what’s more, part of the ruins of ancient Ostia are still used to this day, so it’s not uncommon to have artists perform at the city’s open-air, Greek-style theatre during the summer.

Reaching Ostia Antica

Photo by Jastrow through Wikimedia Commons, through a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license

The most convenient way to get to Ostia is by public transport. The seaside just out of Rome has a dedicated light-rail connection with its terminal at Porta San Paolo, right outside the “Piramide” metro stop on the B line and by the Roma Ostiense train station. The building is unmissable, opposite the Pyramid of Cestius, with signage indicating “Ferrovia Elettrica Roma – Ostia Lido”.

All it takes for you to reach the ruins is a regular bus or subway ticket – 1,50 EUR for a single ride – as Ostia is considered to be within Rome’s city limits. The ride will take approximately 30 minutes from the moment of the departure, and the closest stop to the ruins is, you guessed it, “Ostia Antica”.

Regular tickets to access the archeological area are 12 EUR when a temporary exhibition is on (10 EUR when no special event is ongoing), with reduced tickets down to 7 EUR. As many other state-owned landmarks and monuments, the ruins at Ostia can also be visited for free on the first Sunday of each month.

And if you’re interested in a guide to walk you through the remains or are wondering if you can have a driver to take you to Ostia Antica and back, contact us today – we can direct you to Born and Bred in Rome and/or a private car service, respectively –  these are just some of the extra services we can provide as From Home to Rome through our trusted partners: with Born and Bred in Rome, you will get a 15% discount on your tour if you’re staying in one of From Home to Rome’s accommodations, so think about it when you budget for your Roman vacation!

And when your visit is over, don’t miss the medieval village of Ostia, just around the corner from the ruins. The more modern district that developed largely past WWII is just your average Roman suburb, but to be fair the quality of the restaurants there is high… but that’s a story for another post! Watch this space!

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