If the weather is nice and you want to live the real daily life of the ancient Rome, you must visit the archeological site of Ostia Antica ruins which was built 2000 years ago. Its name comes from Ostium that means “mouth of the river” as it was made on the mouth of the Tiber river.
You can see houses, called “Insulae”, with mosaics in colours and in black and white, with beautiful frescoes like for example the “Insula delle Muse” and “Insula delle pareti gialle” which are the richest houses in the site.
Ostia together with the Roman Empire was growing and becoming powerful and rich; there were not rich quarters and poor quarters but they were all mixed. This city had about 50.000 inhabitants and most of them were young. The buildings were of four/five stories; today you can see only two or three stories and from the top of them you have a fine view over the city.
After 2000 years this buildings still stand: it’s amazing! This is due to the precious quarry materials and to the skill of engineers and architects. All the city is made of bricks realized through a very long manufacturing process.
Wandering in the city you can notice a lot of artisan shops so you can also imagine as moving could be difficult because of the confusion and the traffic like nowadays.
You can see for example the bar with lunch counter…
… the baker’s shop with the wheels that grind rotating on their own axis…
… or places where they keep the wine in half-buried jars and each of them contained about 1000 liters.
Romans loved the performances that they attended in the “Grande Teatro”. The price of the ticket was very low, because they wanted to avoid that the discontent spread through the people; it could have undermined the stability of the Empire.
One of its wealth were the salt-works, because the salt was used to keep the food and as antibacterial drug. The Italian word “salario” (wages) comes from “sale” (salt) with which the soldiers were paid. Another source of wealth was its horbour that was a landing-place for things and people from the whole Empire. It was at a distance of about 4/5 kilometers from the city where now there is the Fiumicino airport.
Look at the video
It’s the only place in the world where you can see the Roman city. I went to visit Ostia Antica with some friends of mine and we were enchanted.
Ostia Antica ruins
You can go by car and park in the archeological site if you arrive early in the morning or by train taking the train line Roma-Lido at the underground station Piramide (from Termini to Piramide you take B line to Laurentina) and your stop is Ostia Antica. Then you reach the site in 5 minutes walk.
You will spend all the day in this site because there are many things to see. You can buy the map at the ticket office. Here is the link to the official web site of Ostia Antica. Free entry every first Sunday of the month.