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Rome: Ostia Antica Daytrip Directions March'05

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I have posted these directions in the past but I have updated them after my recent visit. Ostia is closed on Mondays and hopefully they are once again renting audioguides.
Ostia is a close 2nd to Pompeii but has one advantage over Pompeii, almost total freedom to explore the ruins as very little is closed-off.
Hit the main sites and then wander off the beaten track, that is where this site gets' interesting, by making your own little discoveries. 3 daytrips and I'm still finding cool little things :). Regards, Walter

This trip requires 1 easy change of trains, from the metro to a commuter train. You can get there and back (R/T) with either 2 Rome Metro/Bus tickets (1e each & valid for 75minutes-watch your time!), a 1 Metro/bus Daypass (4e), a 3-day pass (11e-if they still sell them?) or a Weekly pass (16e).  
 So the *exact* same ticket you used to board the metro (or bus) is also valid on the Ferrovia Rome-Lido commuter train to Ostia Antica.

It takes ~50min** from the Termini metro stop to Ostia Antica's train station and then a 5 minute walk to the site. **I include waiting time for the metro and train, in 3 trips to Ostia I've done it in less than an hour. Once from Ostia's entrance gate to my Termini area hotel in 55min.

Take Metro Line "B" towards "Laurentina" and get off at the "Piramide" stop (4 stops from Termini-6 minutes). It's a small station, the Metro stop is outside and below streetlevel and the Lido trains are unseen but parallel to the metro tracks at street level.

Exit the metro car and turn left and you will see escalator/stairs and a sign "Ferrovia Roma-Lido".
 Top of stairs, turn left (crossing over the metro tracks) and you will see 6 platforms. Before you enter the platform area you will see an electronic signboard showing at what time and from what platform the next train is leaving from.
 There are also electronic signboards at the head of each of the 6 platforms.
And don't worry:), *All* of these trains go Lido and *all* stop at Ostia Antica. But not all are used during the off-peak non-rush hours, which is why you might have to wait a bit (30min max if you just missed the train).

There is a w.c. inside the station and on Platform 6. If you have time step *right* outside the station and see the Pyramid of Cestius c.18-12BC and the Ostia Gate & Walls AD 271-5 which has a small museum or visit the Protestant Cemetery nearby (resting place of Keats & Shelley-well his heart is buried there:).
Also the snackbar in front of the station has some cheap decent food.

Board the train and to ease your mind look above the door at the train station map. Ostia Antica is the 7th stop and takes ~23min.
 Notice when you 1st get off the train at Ostia Antica: Across the tracks is the small station just to the left is a w.c.
  40M in front of the station is a blue pedestrian bridge that you'll want to take. There are stairs to take you beneath the tracks and over to the station. If you have a problem with stairs there is an elevator past the stairs.
 
Exit the station and walk over the highway on that pedestrian bridge and then just go straight. In ~100m you cross a 2 lane road, then in ~30m thru an open green gate and then into their parking lot. 80m to the left is the ticket booth, entrance and w.c. Bottomline: Just exit the train station and go straight and you'll run right into the site, it is also signposted. 
 
Tickets are ~5e and I suggest getting the audio guide *if* it is available, it wasn't available in Mar'05 for some reason! Hopefully this is just a temporary thing, the audioguide is very good and costs ~4e (have a picture ID or CC for security).
 There are guidebooks and maps sold at the ticket booth.

Don't forget to visit the museum (w.c.) and the very historic Synagogue (a bit off the beaten track though).
 *Also* be sure to bring water or even better yet pack a small picnic lunch and have a quiet picnic it any of the hundreds of secluded out of the way spots.
There is also a restaurant behind the museum (cafeteria style-decent prices), along with a book & gift shop.

After the audio guide tour is over be certain to visit the western end of the site. You can walk around so alone among the maze-like buildings and paths and make amazing discoveries on your own.

I like the area in the V section of Decumanus Maximus and Via Della Foce. Look for a 2 storey building that you can climb on top of in this area (good view) but also that particular area has some excellent areas to explore and find mosaics, frescos and some pretty cool rooms.  
 One overlooked really cool site is the Baths of Mithras where the "Mithras and the Bull" statue was found, now in the museum but replaced by a copy. On the main road thru the site (Decumaus Maximus) ~75m west of the Capitolium/Forum area, you come upon a main intersection. There is a road (90deg) to your left & right and the main road goes straight but at a slight left angle, at a 45deg angle to your right there is a road/path, take it. You will see on the right 2 red tile covered protected sites followed by 5 trees in a row, take a right after the 5th tree, you will come upon the Baths on your right (it's the last ruin, 2 columns and a taller lone column with a capital on top. Now see the short (3 sections, 1m high) modern cast iron fence (NW corner of the Baths) below that is the entrance to the underground Mithraeum and the statue.

 Now walk back out to that road/path, the 5 trees are on your left. Look 45deg to the right and across that road/path and explore that bldg (House of Serapis) and those behind it (Baths of the Seven Sages & House of the Charioteers). These 3 bldg are connected and between two main streets (Via della Foce & Via Degli Aurighi) and a wonderful site to explore.

Another good area to explore is the southern middle of the site, roughly between the Theater and the Forum.

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