Ostia Antica

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Dec 25th, 2007, 12:39 PM
  #1
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Ostia Antica

Has anyone been there? How does it compare to Pompeii? First time for my husband in Italy. We have 4 days in Rome.

Is it worth the trip out? What is the best way to get there- metro or taxi? should we get a tour guide?

How much time should we plan for the trip if we decide to go?

Thanks everyone!
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Dec 25th, 2007, 12:46 PM
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I have never been to Pompeii, but family and I enjoyed Ostia Antica very much. There is a local train that goes to Ostia from Rome (the southern station that is near the wall with the pyramid), and the train only takes about 20 minutes. I would plan at least 4-5 hours for the trip.
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Dec 25th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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J62
 
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Having been to both I'd say I prefer Pompeii. Hard to put my finger on exactly why. Perhaps it's the single, cataclysmic event, Mt Vesuvius as a backdrop.

mnapoli has given good info about Ostia Antica. The advantage is the close proximity to Rome.

Guide would be helpful. Ostia Antica is expansive, so you can spend a lot of time walking, looking at red brick ruins that may all seem the same. You can rent an audioguide - I found that to be informative but longwinded.

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Dec 25th, 2007, 02:57 PM
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I went via metro and enjoyed it. however, with only four days in Rome, I would not do it as a first time visitor.
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Dec 25th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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"with only four days in Rome, I would not do it as a first time visitor. "

agree.
there is so much to see and do in Rome - don't spend a day away from the city.
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Dec 25th, 2007, 05:34 PM
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If you do go, plan on it taking up half a day. A taxi would be way too expensive.
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Dec 26th, 2007, 07:06 AM
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I agree with the people who say that, with only 4 days in Rome, I'd skip Ostia Antica. The Forum offers a great ruins fix, and there are pockets of other ruins scattered around the city, so unless you're a serious amateur archaeologist and that's a vacation priority. I think you'll have your hands full.

Otherwise, it's worth seeing, maybe on a longer or second visit. My parents, who have been to both, say Pompeii is more impressive, but everyone cautions against it as a day trip from Rome.

When we went, we took a cab to the Pyramid and walked across the street to the station and took the train. From there you walk to the ruins.
It's a port city, with many warehouses, houses, shops, temples, a theater etc. So it takes awhile to walk around it: we rushed and it took the better part of a day. It's definitely not a quick hit. But, if you're into it, it does give you an idea for how everything was laid out in a living city.

If you leave a bit early, before you get on the train you can visit the foreigner's cemetery (noncatholics couldn't be buried within the city) where Keats is buried, it's right behind the pyramid: the entrance is on the street to the right. I think this is one of Rome's greatest and least touted attractions (at least in America). Not only is it beautiful, but it's amazing to walk around and read the stones, some of which are more than 200 years old, and see how people ended up in Rome from all over the world. Lots of trees and roses and cats and statues.
I try to go to foreigners cemeteries whenever possible.

Whatever you choose, enjoy it!
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Dec 26th, 2007, 07:10 AM
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Personally i enjoyed Hadrian's Villa and Ostia Antica as much if not more tha Pompeii
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Dec 26th, 2007, 08:22 AM
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I agree with those who said to skip it with only 4 days in Rome. It's good, but not worth missing out on stuff in Rome. LOL

Enjoy your trip.
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Dec 26th, 2007, 10:36 AM
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Ostia has some great mosaics and one of the oldest synagogues in the world. I enjoyed it more than Pompeii (and it is a much shorter jaunt).

Honestly, I agree with everyone who thinks that with only 4 days in Rome, there are better finds in the city unless you really love the archeological aspects of the port city.
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Dec 26th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but the cemetery is a good use of time for anyone waiting for a train to Ostia, or coming back, and I found their Web site.

It also mentions when you can visit the pyramid.

All the information is here, in English and Italian, with photos:
www.protestantcemetery.it
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Dec 26th, 2007, 12:46 PM
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Pompeii is a complete walled & gated Roman city which helps to give you an idea of what Rome was like but in scale model.

It is one of a kind where the clock stopped on Aug 24, 79AD.

And it has a story and with alittle research or TV documentaries you can imagine as you walk around what went on that fateful day, into the night and on that last morning.

And little stories like the plaster cast with partial skull of a slave (he's wearing a wide slave belt) in the Macellum (market).
Ordered to stay behind and guard his master's house on pain of death?

Houses of the rich, apartments for the working class, brothel, villa outside the walls, oldest stone amphitheatre or peer thru a gated door (Insula 6-House #11) and see the 3 metal legs from a marble table inscripted with the name 'P. Casca Longus'. Very likely the man who struck the 1st stab wound to Julius Caesar and likely bought at auction after his banishment.

Ostia Antica is a fun place to visit and very much worth it.
It's close and there is much more freedom to wander around the ruins.

It was a working-class seaport city and not as interesting and varied as Pompeii IMO.
Except in seeing working-class Roman insula/apartment houses, commerce (warehouses, grain mills, laundries, etc).

The city was replaced by a nearby manmade port and slowly became a ghost town.

And doesn't have any exciting stories to tell, where you can stand in one spot and say on ?AD this happened here.

But with an early or late start you could make it an interesting half-day trip or spend the day there exploring.

Here are directions to both also I haven't been to Ostia since '06 and the audioguides still weren't available (nor in '05).
I thought they were very good when I was there a few years earlier.
J62 were you there recently? Hopefully they have brought the audioguides back since my last visit.

OSTIA ANTICA
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34619236

ROME-POMPEII http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34665492
Regards, Walter
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