Ostia Antica is what remains of the ancient port city on the coast to the west just a short journey beyond Rome. It makes for a fascinating day out and seems ideal for children as well as adults. But today we had the place almost to ourselves. It took less than an hour (and just a standard one Euro ticket) from Termini to the station at Ostia Antica, and the cafe there was great for lunch. So where was everyone? This is vast and enormously important historic site you could visit again and again.
There’s nothing can be added here to the vast store of scholarship about ancient Rome. I hope the pictures will simply speak for themselves. But I can offer practical advice: It takes hours to see everything. You can enter the venues (Fora and Colosseum) only once each over two days. You’ll need sturdy shoes, a big bottle of water plus maybe nibbles. Rest and cool down where possible. And a vivid imagination is essential. These are places where real people, some still known by name, lived and worked two millennia ago.
We’re in Rome this week, for our long-awaited Summer break. It’s our second visit to this city, but some things have changed a bit over the past fifteen years. For a start, the Auditorium wasn’t even build then; so that’s where we headed today – where we learned more about regeneration through culture, we were disappointed as tourists, and we thoroughly enjoyed a concert by the virtuoso pianist Stefano Bollani.